Nancy – Fireworks, H&M and fine French food

DSCN3753At the crack of noon (we’re on holiday), Monday, July 13, it was a quick trip from Karlsruhe back to Kandel to pick up our charges, Delaney and Brett, and head to France. Destination for the next four days would be Nancy in France’s Alsace Lorraine region, with a short stop-off to see the cathedral and canals of Strasbourg.

DSCN3809_rz1Tuesday we helped the French celebrate Bastille Day. Place Stanislas with its incredible gilded gates and stately buildings was the focal point for the formal segment of the day’s activities. With the square decked out in French flags and bunting, squads of police and military troops were reviewed, the honorable were named and the requisite speeches were made. As the band played La Marseillaise–IMO the coolest anthem ever–a pair of Mirage jets made a quick pass overhead.

DSCN1669_rz1The kids spent a good chunk of the rest of the day checking out sales at H&M and Lacoste (for some reason the Euro versions are cooler than the US ones). Of course, no patriotic national celebration would be complete without fireworks and the Nancy show did not disappoint. Technology has added a lot to the art of pyrotechnic display.

DSCN3800_rz1Being in France, we had to do some fine French eating. Evening one brought quite good, but somewhat non-traditional fare in a kind of Americanized trendy joint with burgers, salads and steak tartare pairing nicely with a couple carafes of wine. Our last night in Nancy was Delaney’s 18th Birthday-eve and we celebrated, alfresco at Grand Café Foy in Place Stanislas. Balmy night, fab waiter, delightful wine, marvelous meal and D’s favorite; tap water.

Semi-interesting observation: Strasbourg is home to the Kronenbourg brewery. For whatever reason, I’ve always found it to be one of the toughest places on the Continent to get a Kronenbourg 1664. It’s kind of like  not being to find a Miller in Milwaukee.