“Wow!” It’s great to be in a city whose name we know how to pronounce! We know people named Nancy!!” NOPE. In French, it is pronounced Non-SEE. Sigh. About all we have down for sure are merci, s’il vous plait, bon jour, and excuse-moi. Those are our go-to phrases for most things.
Do you know what we are enjoying every bit as much as these gorgeous medieval cities and sights? Driving along country roads to each destination! We use Waze for our GPS guidance, and we have set it to avoid freeways and avoid toll roads. Most days, it is no more than 20-30 minutes longer to go off the beaten track. We drive through tiny villages (each with a huge church!), along beautiful fields of crops or grazing cows, and we get to see French life up close. On freeways, of course, you can keep a more steady speed than the back roads, but there isn’t much to see except other cars and trucks. On our routes, we slow down every few miles as we navigate through a village, then speed up again (but not at speeds as fast as the freeway), then slow down. It continues like that the entire way. Sometimes we pass a local cafe, turn around, and take a break as we enjoy a leisurely cappuccino and espresso. You can see in one photo that we went through an area (near Villiers) whose crop was…. sunflowers! We passed thousands and thousands of them, one curve after another showing us fields of them. It was overwhelming, and beautiful.
On to our time in Non-SEE! What a historic and beautiful place! In many ways, it rivals capital cities like Paris and Vienna. There is some over-the-top stuff here! We went to a simply terrific museum of Art Nouveau furnishings, two floors of jaw-dropping stained and painted glass, and….wait’ll you see the bathtub! Never ever have we seen one like this! A visit to Place Stanislas is required of every visitor here. It is dripping with gold accents, and is truly…excessive. Its construction was overseen by the exiled Polish king, Stanislas I (the father-in-law of Louis XV), in the mid-1700s.
We would have loved to show you the interior of several churches, but all were closed (on a Sunday afternoon!) save one that is now a necropolis and museum of sorts. It is a day that we are certain that we walked 10,000 steps, and likely double that! We walked for many hours, and were rewarded with the best that Nancy has to offer. This is another little gem in France that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but Place Stanislas was jammed with people yesterday afternoon, as you will see in the photos. So others have also found out about this delightful destination, as we have!