The first time we came to Nantes with Mark in 2013, we visited the majestic three-masted Belem ship. She is moored in Nantes again, so we came back with my mum. The ship hasn’t changed but Mark did—last time, he was barely crawling, this time, he explored it by himself and marveled at the Loire River flowing fast below.
Built in Nantes on the Dubigeon shipyard in 1896, the Belem was originally a cargo ship, transporting sugar from the West Indies, cocoa, and coffee from Brazil and French Guiana to Nantes. After flying different flags through the century, she finally came home in 1979 and she is now a training ship.
The smell of old polished wood is amazing on board, and I’m always amazed by how much fits in there—the machines, the canteen, a full kitchen, the shipwright room with all the tools… it looks tiny from the bank but once you are on board, it’s a small functioning city!
You can find all the picture in the France 2015 set.