Not Nantes - Written April 12th 2013

Today was the first time my travel companion mentioned her destination. Today is also the first day I had some funds to actually discuss travel arrangements. This entire time I've been focused on discussing this a month from now so it was a pleasant surprise to be able to talk about and afford accommodations. She has began to slow up on her own plans and is now encouraging me to accompany her on her weekends off. She won't be done with her French language courses until the end of June. She will be in an accessible city not some remote place as expected. She will be staying in Nantes and the plan is to stay and or visit as often as possible. However it is remote in relationship to France and any other bordering country that is. And Nantes sounds like the word not.

My companion seemed very enthusiastic about her destination via text that is. She said I would enjoy it but that says a lot being that we've both never been. I'm just riding her coattails and when looking online, in wikis - the city is quite authentic. There is great architecture and museums. Yet Nantes boasts its own airport, it is on the west coast facing the Atlantic and there are plenty of hostels. I didn't see any grand parks, fields of herbs provence or children in little Madeline outfits. I've only seen a lot of industry, paved streets (not made of silver or anything) and bodies of water. This is exciting for someone not seeking an experience just comfort. Because in my opinion - site unseen that is - Nantes looks like a duplicate of New York. It looks like the polar universe we like to talk about. It looks like a place I would like to avoid and never see. My fear is if I travel to this city first I will not like France - no pun intended.

I know I'm being negative and right off the bat. There is still so much hope and I do have a lot of research to do. But two hours on travel sites didn't help, one hostel had a series of mediocre reviews and another hostel was sort of dark and situated inside of a former factory. There was a Quality/Comfort Inn - also the airport and train being nearby does help so I was able to gain perspective about traveling to and from. 
Maybe possibly this is a training wheel sort of city - preparing us for the more regal and traditional parts of France. Maybe if we started in the city of romance a.k.a. Paris we could starve and or die. I'm already looking forward to the hustle of long weekend trips to and from and I'm wondering if it has those Spanish westward winds talked about in movies. I'm fascinated that a nude beach may be less than a few miles away and apparently this particular city is dotted with lovely public pools for those that like clothes. Also having downloaded the city's app - the darn place is choc full of fine eateries. I don't think a single one offers a table without a tablecloth. As much as I want plated fish with a tower of vegetables I cannot pronounce dotted in some fine tuned sauce (say that three times fast) I cannot eat that way every day - three times a day!. At least I know I can ward off high end hunger with a swim or even a movie. Apparently "Django Unchained" is just out over there. I'll give it one weekend.....

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