Since I was a child, I have been a big fan of Jules Verne, one of my favourite authors. I remember reading his books and dreaming of adventures like it was yesterday. I wanted to know more about the author of these amazing books so when we learnt about his work at high school I wrote a report on him. That was the time when I found out that Jules Verne comes from Nantes and ever since, it has been on my list of places which I wanted to visit once. This summer I finally managed to go there and see the city for myself, even though Nantes isn’t one of the places that tourists usually go to while visiting France. The weather was a disappointment but the city was definitely not.
I was very surprised when I discovered that the tourism board prepares something called Le Voyage a Nantes every summer, leaving a green line trail through the city that will lead you to most of the sights. And the best thing about it is that you have free entrance to the museums and galleries which are a part of this journey! The trail is 10 mile long and it has around 30 stops. I managed to see or visit most of them during one day at leisurely pace but I have to confess – my legs hurt as hell the next day!
The green line trail led me to several artsy curiosities as well as museum and galleries. I started my journey by looking at the sculpture of Vincent Mauger who explores the notions of space and landscapes through his work.
Following the trail I came across gigantic Measuring Tape, Canadienne, a “a shelter made of beams and canvas where one can wile away the Indian summer on the prairies along the Loire”, Zebra Crossing and Humming Building or a Basketball Tree.
One of the most popular attractions was also 5-meter tall wooden elephant which you can ride if you buy a ticket. If you decide to be just an observant, watch out for its trunk splashing water on people standing too close by!
Amongst others, I also visited the Museum of Natural History, Samurai expo at the castle and the Gallery of Unusual Objects. Before my last destination, I decided to take a break and have a nice cocktail drink at the bar located on 32nd floor called Le Nid (The Nest), a home of enormous giant bird which is supposed to watch over the city – a work of the artist Jean Jullien. Not only was this bar one of the most interesting bars I’ve ever been to but also the views of the city were definitely worth taking few snaps.
The botanical garden was my last stop and I’ve never seen such a magical garden. I couldn’t get enough of it, the place has its own spirit and the creativity of its creators is obvious at every step. See for yourself!
After full on day like this, I couldn’t resist to be lured into the one of the many creperies and try a salty pancake filled with 2 different types of cheese and jambon (ham). Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to try fried mussels, a local specialty but hopefully, I will some other time. And one more tip for you – if you ever visit Nantes, look out for the ghosts from Pacman arcade game. They are on the walls all over the city where you would expect them the least.
If you’re thinking about places to visit in France, I definitely recommend you to put Nantes on your list for next summer. Find out more about it here and I wish you Happy Voyage!