The Isle of Nantes

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I didn’t want to rush to the Isle of Nantes because I know we will end up there several times during our “French summer”. The home of the giant mechanical elephant and other Jules Verne-inspired art projects is a fun place to hang out and it’s still fairly new to me—at least compared to the Château des Ducs or the Jardin des plantes, where I spent all my Wednesdays afternoons as a kid.

I’m amazed to see how touristic Nantes has become. It’s good, though, I’m not complaining about it. In a way, it’s not that surprising that travelers add Nantes to their itinerary. This is still a big city, there is plenty to see and to do and the cost of living is affordable by French standards. Most European tourists know all the tricks to travel by rail, coach or air, thanks to useful travel planner such as GoEuro, and they definitely found Nantes. Just today, I heard Spanish, German, English and Italian being spoken in the street!

The Isle of Nantes had a few new cool attractions, including a 18-metre-long ball pool (with a “lifeguard!) and the HAB art gallery dedicated to contemporary art. The elephant is still here and I wasn’t sure how Mark was going to react since he is much more aware of his surroundings than he was last year, as a baby. He watched with a mix of fear and curiosity, it was actually funny to see his face.

The best part of the Isle of Nantes, to me, isn’t the slightly gimmicky attractions and art projects, but the walk along the Loire River. The view is beautiful and during the day it’s peaceful since most bars only open in the evening. We strolled along the Buren’s Rings and the Hangars à Bananes, and then back to the Quai de la Fosse, under a beautiful sunshine.

You can see the com­plete set of pic­tures taken in France on Flickr.

Along the Loire River

Along the Loire River

Hippie Van

Hippie Van

Passerby Watching the Elephant

Passerby Watching the Elephant

The Merry-Go-Round

The Merry-Go-Round

Mark "Reading"

Mark “Reading”

On the Isle of Nantes

On the Isle of Nantes

On the Isle of Nantes

On the Isle of Nantes

On the Isle of Nantes

On the Isle of Nantes

Giant Ball Pool

Giant Ball Pool

Giant Ball Pool

Giant Ball Pool

Mark's Feet and Mine

Mark’s Feet and Mine

Titan Crane

Titan Crane

Titan Crane

Titan Crane

Modern Art Gallery

Modern Art Gallery

On the Isle of Nantes

On the Isle of Nantes

On the Isle of Nantes

On the Isle of Nantes

Crane and Sky

Crane and Sky

Mark Watching the Elephant

Mark Watching the Elephant

Kind of Scared

Kind of Scared

The Elephant

The Elephant

Scared and Curious

Scared and Curious

The Elephant

The Elephant

Buren's Rings

Buren’s Rings

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

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    • See the Titan Crane? When you walk toward it, from the Elephant, it’s on your right side. It’s by the Loire, close to a “hangar” where they sell designer clothing.

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