And, just like that, my second period abroad has come to an end…
Where did the time go? The past few months have flown by and it feels like yesterday when I was boarding the plane in Dublin, feeling not-quite-so ready to begin my second placement abroad. Of course, my initial fears quickly subsided when I arrived in Nantes and I have spent the last three months thoroughly enjoying my time in the Pays de la Loire region.
Unfortunately – cue the cliché – all good things must come to an end. So, as a tribute to the lovely Loire region, I have compiled a list of my favourite towns in the area and why each had such an important impact on me.
From its cobbled streets lined with boutiques and crêperies to its 8320 acres of green space (citing Liv Cowle from Euradio for that one), Nantes has to be one of my favourite cities to have ever visited – ever! It has it all: waterfront promenades, flowers, a huge mechanical elephant… not to mention it is a foodie’s paradise! Click here to read more!
About 45 minutes away by train is Angers, another quintessentially French city. Jim and I visited for the day and our itinerary included: lunch in Place du Ralliement, admiring the flowers in the Jardin des Plantes d’Angers, a stroll along the Maine, a trip to see the Cathédrale Saint-Maurice and a visit to the Château d’Angers!
When a colleague suggested a trip to Clisson on a grey Sunday afternoon, I was delighted! A wonderful French town about 20 minutes by car from Nantes, Clisson is home to a castle, riverside walking routes, quaint cafés and, most importantly, stone-built houses with duck-egg blue shutters and wisteria (if you know, you know).
When Lois came to visit, we decided to escape the city for a day and journey to the coast! Pornic was only 40 minutes away by train and, with beaches, parks, coastal paths and a castle (notice the recurring theme here?), it was the perfect place to spend our Saturday afternoon! It was lush being beside the sea again!
Trentemoult is a riverfront district just across the Loire river from the city centre of Nantes. It has colourful bars, a small harbour and plenty of outdoor space to enjoy a beverage (no castle this time!). Isla and I took the boat from the Gare Maritime to Trentemoult to spend a sunny Sunday drinking wine outside on the river’s edge.
Pays de la Loire was a truly amazing place to spend my second experience abroad. I have loved getting to know Nantes, being able to explore other towns in the region and having the opportunity to try local wines, cheeses, chocolates and caramels.
A la prochaine,