26 July 2012

le voyage à nantes / a journey to nantes

tnantes01 something funny is going on in nantes.

tnantes02 such as a lime green mountain randomly popping up.

[mont royal(e) by block architectes.]

tnantes03 or a giant marshmallow ghost of sorts wedged inside a balcony.

[kiss of the paraghost by danny steve.]

tnantes04 other than that, not much has changed in nantes. especially that pain au chocolat you had over one year ago that tastes exactly the same. you’ve not discovered a better one in all your visits to french bakeries. crispy, flaky, melty – it meets all the things you crave in a good pain au chocolat.

tnantes05 but back to nantes. you happen to arrive right when an art biennial has invaded. two, in fact. one for the city of nantes, and one for the river between nantes and saint nazaire.

nantes: le voyage à nantes

estuary:  ESTUAIRE Nantes <> Saint Nazaire

tnantes06 which is why you find yourself on a boat. your friend works all day, so you’re left on your own to pass the time until she is free.

tnantes07 on this boat tour you learn about this area’s industrial history.

tnantes10    a bit about nature too: flowers, fauna, etc.

IMG_3391 and a lot about contemporary art. installations are scattered along the river banks, but you can’t miss them as the guide points them out and the boat pauses for everyone to have a good look.

[la maison dans la loire by jean-luc courcoult.]

tnantes08 the trip down the river takes three hours. you may or may not have taken a little nap.

tnantes09 then the boat docks at saint nazaire, a port city.

tnantes11 here you’ll repeat what every french person told you about saint nazaire: saint nazaire? there’s nothing there, plus it’s ugly since everything was destroyed in the war. there is a giant shopping center though.

sadly, it’s quite true.

tnantes12  it doesn’t stop you from trying though to find something you like to do.

tnantes13 at the very least, it smells like ocean.

tnantes14  sometimes, that is all you need to enjoy the day. a good walk and a good smell. a simple combination, but one that always works well.

tnantes15 close, so close to the ocean. but not quite. that will be  soon. you hop on a train back to nantes. after all, you have a dinner date.

tnantes16 the dinner date “accidently” turns into a chocolate and pistachio gelato date.

(which, you need to add, is balanced out by the indoor swimming date that happens later but where no camera was present. and where no camera will ever be present!)

tnantes17 when it is time to move on, you say goodbye to rhubarb growing above your head and a vegetable garden in the middle of a roundabout that will soon have zucchini and squash for the public to pick and eat.

you’ll be long gone before any of that is ripe.

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