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A Pachydermatous Sunday

“I fucking hate going to the market,” I complained, emptying the shopping bag in the kitchen. “I queued for 40 minutes to buy fish, then ten minutes to buy two lemons, then another fifteen minutes for carrots and who knows how long to buy ham. Seriously, do people enjoy wasting their Sunday morning on that? And merchants kept on insisting I should try their salami, their bread, their cheese… it’s like when my in-laws are feeding me random stuff I don’t particularly want to eat! I’m not even awake yet, people!”

Okay, I’m not a morning person. Maybe I shouldn’t volunteer to go to the market, then.

After a coffee and a Coke, I realized it was warm and sunny outside and that I had no reason to be in a bad mood. All the stores were closed (hence the lineups at the Sunday market) but the streets were full of locals and tourists enjoying the weather and time off. Feng and I circled the Île de Nantes, Mark bought un-croissant-s’il-te-plaît (his French is getting better!), then I went out with my mom for another walk along the Erdre River.

At 7 p.m., we still had some energy left. Mark grabbed his trottinette, Feng picked up a drink and took my diabolo. We crossed the bridge, followed the crowd and ended up on the Île de Nantes again.

This is a popular spot where you’ll find the giant mechanical elephant and the big carrousel des mondes marins, inspired by Jules Verne’s work. Both attractions draw a crowd every day but they are pricey at €8.50 each for a ticket to ride the elephant or the carrousel. The Île de Nantes is also home to a smaller (cheaper!) carrousel—Les manèges d’Andrea—,the Hangar à bananes (several bars, restaurants and a disco), the Buren Rings along the Loire River, several playgrounds and occasional music festivals.

On a sunny evening like this, the touristic, hipster atmosphere didn’t annoy me. I didn’t care. I wanted to have fun as well. Mark waited for the elephant to “walk” out of the hangar because he likes to get sprayed with water. Then he used his last ticket on the carrousel and we both played with our toys, the diabolo and the trottinette.

I love when we can enjoy public space like this.

At the tip of the Île de Nantes, Quai des Antilles
At the tip of the Île de Nantes, Quai des Antilles
Les nefs, Île de Nantes
Les nefs, Île de Nantes
Les nefs and the elephant, Île de Nantes
Les nefs and the elephant, Île de Nantes
Les nefs and the elephant, Île de Nantes
Les nefs and the elephant, Île de Nantes
Les nefs and the elephant, Île de Nantes
Les nefs and the elephant, Île de Nantes
Mark, after being sprayed by the elephant
Mark, after being sprayed by the elephant
Les Manèges d’Andrea, Île de Nantes
Les Manèges d’Andrea, Île de Nantes
Les Manèges d’Andrea, Île de Nantes
Les Manèges d’Andrea, Île de Nantes
Parvis des nefs, Île de Nantes
Parvis des nefs, Île de Nantes
Parvis des nefs, Île de Nantes
Trading toys, Île de Nantes
Trading toys, Île de Nantes
Trading toys, Île de Nantes

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