Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

06 Sep 2013

Summer Holiday 2013 (Days 13/14)

Today we had the full day in the city of Nantes. We walked down to the tram stop and then took the tram through the city to meet up with family. Our plan for the day was to visit Les Machines de I'ile. While the exhibition was open the elephant and various bits were closed to maintenance so we could only take the limited tour.

When the shipyards in Nantes closed, they set-up the most insane model shop you have ever seen to keep skilled engineering jobs in the city. They have built a massive walking elephant that can take 50 people on a guided tour of the island, a enormous aquatic themed triple decked merry-go-round and at the moment they are in the process of building a gigantic fifty metre diameter "Heron Tree".

The whole place is full of the most over the top and fanciful, science-fiction come steam-punk contraptions I've ever seen. It's hard to describe the place, but even though we couldn't see everything I was utterly blown away with the place and I want to go back to Nantes just to ride on the elephant!

After the tour we went into the very tasteful gift shop then had lunch at the very nice cafe that is attached. Once that had all settled we had a wander in the stunning afternoon sun, first round the island it's self then back to the city centre. We looked in at the Castle and went past the school (sixth form equivalent) that my better half went to and into the adjoining botanic gardens. The gardens were pretty enough but they were also full of the most fun and zany art/flower displays I've ever seen.

Tonight we are having dinner at one of the towns more famous restaurants - should make up for last night's terrible food, the only time I've had a bad meal in Brittany!

The city's beautiful botanic gardens are full of the most wild installations you've ever seen. On our last day we decide to go back to have a look at the ones we missed yesterday. Each one is accompanied with the most absurd description. They were created by Claude Ponti and have been there all year. When we saw the first one yesterday we didn't understand what was going on, but once we saw a few more we realised it was a joke - on a huge scale...!

Our train trip was pretty uneventful, though I still hate the stupid hanging bike things that SNCF insist on having installed on their trains.

On reaching Saint Malo in the early afternoon, we checked into our B&B Hotel and then went shopping. Carrying everything by bike means we got very little, as it has to fit on the bike - which is good for self-restraint!

This evening we'll go into old city to buy our last crepe...