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Nov 2019 - Fancy Nancy

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

The very last stop on the road trip, all good things come to an end.

Pesmes to Nancy was around 220km via the back-roads, which again I chose to avoid the pretty large tolls on the Peage, as well as take in better scenery. Well it would cost more anyway once I saw a bright flash in my face while passing through a small town (like 4 houses). My first ever speeding ticket - turned out later to be 82km/h when 'corrected' in an 80km/h zone :-/ 45 euro plus Hertz administration fee of 35 euro.

Nancy was the first place where we stayed in a hotel, one of those new 'apart-hotels' that are springing up everywhere. Ultra modern design, mini kitchen in the room, self check in, etc. Pretty good actually.

Nancy is a pretty popular place for tourists as it's home the UNESCO listed Place Stanislas. The square conceived by Stanisław I to link the medieval old town and the "new" town built in the 17th century. It was also to honour his son-in-law, Louis XV. The design is described as "rational, symmetrical but varied urban space, unequalled in Europe at the time". In 1831, a bronze statue of Stanisław was put in the centre of the square, which at this time of year was encapsulated in a giant glass 'snow globe'.

Place Stanislas
Mr Stanlislaw inside a snowglobe

With fairly limited time in Nancy, it was basically walking around at night (temps barely above 0c) taking in the Christmas lights and various drinks at the Christmas Markets, of which there were no less than 3. It's a beautiful city at night.

Fancy Nancy

The next morning, day of departure, it was below freezing and the fog was really thick (50m), which could mean only one thing - photography. Really unique street photography conditions when a city is covered in fog and the temps are very low. People are basically silhouetted shapes moving about and because of their winter jackets and often hunched poses, it creates that olden day vibe. There's also fisherman at the river on such days.

Fisherman in the fog
Dense fog?
The Apart-hotel funky exterior in the fog
Love this stuff for photos

Well at around midday it was time to drive to Maastricht, via Luxembourg to fuel up on tax-free fuel. It started as a super foggy drive and because of the low temps a nearby nuclear power plant was creating the most enormous steam clouds! Had to capture it.

Nuclear 4 Ever

During the drive, we took a detour to La Roche-en-Ardenne, a small town in the Ardenne forest where much of the Battle of Bulge took place in WW2. Basically stopped here for some Belgian fries. A scenic drive it was and on leaving the town we noticed the foliage and ground was still frozen, at 4pm (car was showing -2c).

And so the road trip came to a close in Maastricht.... 4,500km and 2 months later, having visited over 60 towns/cities across 7 countries. The car was scratch free and my 'eco' driving score was 79 out of 100, with 4 (out of 5) stars for acceleration, 4 stars for anticipation, and 2 stars for gear changes (still don't get how this works). Average speed was 60km/h, averge fuel consumption 5.2 l/ 100km in a petrol car and of the total distance, 600km was without any consumption.


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