Nantes is definitely more touristic than it was before. Every day, I see dozens of people—couples, families, single travellers—wandering around the city core, the “Journey to Nantes” booklet in hand and a camera slung over their shoulder.
Meanwhile, Feng, Mark and I took the “other” Journey to Nantes. Of course, we visited the main landmarks. We are regular at half a dozen of churches because of Mark’s addiction to stain glass windows and pipe organs, we went to the Isle of Nantes a lot to say “bonjour” to the elephant, we end most days with a visit to the Jardin des Plantes or the castle where he can throw sand and run around freely.
But we also enjoyed the empty, quiet streets of Nantes’ poshest districts, the industrial wastelands and the suburbs. Going to the supermarket is fun, most of the time, because it’s a cultural experience. I like checking out products and brands I used to eat as a kid and I compare prices with Ottawa’s supermarkets.
We walked so much that my sandals are completely destroyed.
There is always something going on in the streets. There are always people walking around, having a coffee, a beer, biting into some buttery pastries, sitting around fountains. There is life.
I miss that in Canada.
I’m not going to get into the “what place is best to live” debate. It’s not like I have fallen in love with France again—some aspects of life drive me crazy. But it feels cozy, safe and fun. I’m on home soil.
Yet, “home” is supposed to be Canada.
Goddamn the immigrant’s dilemma. Home is everywhere and nowhere is home.