If you’ve read my two last posts, you’ll know that I booked a flight to Luxembourg in part because I have two friends living in Metz, a pretty French city an hour south by train. I waited for the weekend so that my hostess and friend Sofia could show me around, but the day started at the Pompidou Center, by myself, as admission to the museum is paid.

It’s true, it’s not just in Paris that there is a Pompidou, the city of Metz also has a contemporary art museum, whose architectural design has the signature of the Japanese Shigeru Ban. I confess that it was only when I saw the model of the building that I understood the architecture of the space and it soon seemed much more interesting to me, the three overlapping parallelepipeds with a “blanket” on top. This was due to the fact that only half of the rooms were open, in the others they were changing the exhibition (and for that reason I only paid half price), which led me to not being able to get a sense of the space, once inside it, as it was unfortunately impossible to access any of the windows overlooking Metz.

So I walked back home, had lunch with Antoine and Sofia and in the afternoon she went to show me Metz. We started at Porte des Allemands, not far from home, and took the longest route, along the banks of the River La Seille and then along the Moselle, to the center of Metz. First stop, the beautiful island whose name I don’t know, but where we can find the Temple Neuf, the Moselle Prefecture, the Opera and another Ephemeral Garden, in the Opera square, just like the one I was able to visit in Nancy.

We crossed the river and explored the streets of the historic center. We saw the Market, the Cathedral, everything from the outside, I would return three days later to visit them inside. We took the opportunity to buy some local delicacies for dinner – Pâté Lorrain, cheeses, sausages, and different kinds of bread.

We continued to Place de la Repúblique towards the Plan d’Eau, an artificial lake in the middle of a green park, the heart of the city in summer when it fills up with practitioners of various water sports. We felt like having a snack and Sofia took me to her favorite place in town, the Fox cafe, a very beautiful space with vintage decor.

We ended the stroll at Place Saint Louis, for me the most beautiful in the city, with its arcades, all of them different from each other. When we got home, Antoine had just hung the lamp over the dining table – they just bought the house and are still putting it together – and they were both loving the new lighting! We ate the delis that we had bought on our walk, accompanied by a great wine from the region!

The next day I went to Saarlouis, in Germany, to visit my host family from when I did AFS. I saw the maternal grandparents again, I hadn’t seen them for almost 10 years! And my German mother for two years, because of the pandemic… And the day after I returned to Luxembourg, so it wasn’t until three days later that I walked around Metz again. It was actually my last day in these lands, I was flying to Lisbon that same afternoon, so I had the morning to enjoy.

The day dawned gray and rainy, which also meant a welcomed rise in temperature. The idea was to stroll through the streets of Metz and then visit the beautiful cathedral! What an incredible light, what an incredible collection of stained glass! One of the most interesting cathedrals I’ve ever visited!

It was finally time to take the train to Luxembourg and then the bus (which I remember is free, like all public transportation in this country) to the airport. I cannot thank Sofia and Antoine enough for the wonderful reception, for all the conversations, dinners, visiting tips! I can’t wait to see them again anywhere in the world!