Exploring Northern France: Poitiers

After visiting Reims and Dijon, I ended my trip with the French board of tourism in Poitiers. (Jordan and I extended our trip and visited Marrakesh and Paris on our own afterwards.) We stayed in the Hotel Mercure Poitiers Centre, a former Jesuit chapel built in 1854. My room was incredible, as was the dinner we had in the hotel’s restaurant, Les Archives.

Hotel Mercure Poitiers Centre

We started by exploring the city center with our guide, Françoise d’Argenson, seeing Notre-Dame la Grande, Cathedral Saint Pierre, Baptistry Saint-Jean, and more. La Fete de la Musique was happening too, when bands put on free concerts in cities throughout France!

Notre-Dame la Grande, Poitiers, France

Nicole Balch, in a Cathedral in Poitiers, France
↑ photo by Jordan Ferney

Poitiers, France

La Fete de la Musique

Cathedral Saint Pierre, Poitiers, France

Poitiers, France

The next day, we went to the Marais Poitevin, a network of canals through the Atlantic marsh nicknamed ‘The Green Venice.’ The relaxing pace of the boat ride was perfect. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but my camera gear had gotten too overwhelming by the end of this trip for my poor back, and I only had my iPhone with me from Poitiers on.

Marais Poitevin, France

And, um, we had a fish spa experience which resulted in these truly excellent photos of Carol and me. (The fish felt like fizzy bubbles, by the way.)

Fish Spa

I’m so grateful to have been invited on this trip. If you find yourself planning a trip to France, be sure to explore a bit! The trains make it very easy to get around, and a quick ride lets you experience so much more of the beautiful country.

Poitiers, France

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  • Sarah
    July 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    That first image is so fantastic, I want to go to there. I’m also very motivated by this post. I dream about the day when perhaps my own little blog could provide me with such an amazing opportunity. It’s well deserved, lucky you!

    • Making it Lovely
      July 28, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you! It definitely was an amazing opportunity. I hope you’ll be able to do the same (or something similar) some day!

  • Annelies
    July 28, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    That picture of you in the cathedral is stunning! It reminds me of the ‘that’s me and you kid’-moment in The Family Stone.

  • Naomi J
    July 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    After I saw the picture of your hotel room, I told my husband that I required a room just like it when we eventually get to building our own house. His response:”I can’t not have a room like that now.”

    Looks like a lovely time!

    • Making it Lovely
      July 28, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      The funny thing is that I went from that room one night to the worst little room near the CDG airport the next night, because a train delay made me miss my flight to Morocco. Ah, but that’s a story to tell in another post! ;)

  • Amanda
    July 28, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Love the last photo with the spiral windows…so unusual! Glad you had a great trip and we got to come along to see everything!

  • Xenia
    July 29, 2014 at 6:17 am

    What an incredibly inspiring post. All of the photos are fantastic, but the first one is so romantic and beautiful.

  • Dreaming of the Honeymoon | Born to be a Bride
    July 29, 2014 at 8:11 am

    […] Who wouldn’t want to wake up beneath this majestic ceiling at the Hotel Mercure Poitiers Centre in Northern France? Built in 1854, this stunning Poitiers spot is worth your every daydream. Read more here. […]

  • judy
    July 29, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I hope you won’t take this the wrong way but the picture of you in the cathedral just cracked me up- All of those places have such an ambiance of solemnity and reverence and -one should whisper and be properly reverential and there is this pretty girl in a smashing dress looking all -well yes- that girl is very definitely pregnant! somehow the contrast just struck me funny. My only excuse is I am old and back a million years ago when I was having my kids one hid the fact in voluminous garments as though it was not to be acknowledged in polite company. Thank God for Progress.

  • Marcee ... ILLINOIS
    July 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Wow Nicole. You look so pretty in the green dress surrounded by ancient columns! Amazing photo. One day this will be a marvelous keepsake for bebe. Sure looks like a boy!(course I’ve been wrong …. but have also “guessed” correctly many times.)Hope you are feeling good these days.