St Nazaire

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I swear, I won’t do it again. For the first and only time in my life, I followed in Sarkozy’s footsteps: we visited the same city only a day apart. Thanks God we didn’t meet.

For our last week-end in France, Feng and I went back on the Atlantic coast. We spent a few days with my family and left to explore St Nazaire, a few kilometers away. The town isn’t pretty: it was heavily bombed during WWII and 80% of it was destroyed. It was rebuilt right after the war in a somewhat minimalist style — understand one main street and square buildings scattered around.

We walked around the harbor and I felt like in Pink Floyd’s Animals cover. The city is very industrial and it focuses on shipbuilding (mostly cruise ships nowadays), aeronautical engineering and port activities. As for art, some Tintin posters are scattered around the harbor, as the comic-strip reporter written by Hergé famously stopped by St Nazaire in the album The Seven Crystal Balls.

We came back in the evening and enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the beach, back in St Michel.

You can follow our French trip here on Flickr: France (2010).

Tintin in St Nazaire

Dockers' Union Building

Fishing in the Harbor

Fishing in the Harbor

The Industrial Side


Welcome to... the Machines...

The Beach

The Harbor

This is why I failed my driving test in France... twice!

Sunset on the Beach

Sunset on the Beach


About Author

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


  1. you’re right. the town doesn’t look ‘french’ at all. the square buildings and the concrete are almost fascinating in their ugliness.
    but i am glad you got to spend time with your family. your trip to france sounds like an amazing adventure.

  2. what is it about the french that they never like politicians. i don’t remember hearing of a popular one; at least, if they are popular one day, they are hated the next. it’s almost like in america.
    oh wait- it’s *exactly* like in america.

  3. @Soleil – It’s not, actually 😆 It’s too close to the harbor, so pretty dirty and dangerous. But the picture somehow makes it look good 😆

    @Seraphine – It’s an ugly city in a funny and interesting way. Not a place to stay overnight but we had fun walking around.

    @Seraphine – Mmm… you must be right, I hated Chirac too.

    @khengsiong – That’s right! But the sign below in yellow says the bridge is closed anyway… so why all the signs!?

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – Yes, not the prettiest place.

    @expatraveler – The sunset was wonderful. It’s rare in the summer because it tends to be quite cloudy.

    @Celine – Thank you!

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