Les Machines de L’ile

Our journey reached 1500km as we rode into Nantes, which turned out to be a magnificent city.  It is the fifth largest in France with a thriving cultural and artistic vibe.  It is a bicycle friendly city where activists paint bike paths on roads if they don’t exist already.  We stayed with Romaric and his family which was a treat in itself, as Romaric is the manager of a beautiful botanic garden (Jardin des Plantes) and a keen carnivorous plant enthusiast.

A beautiful botanic garden

A beautiful botanic garden

Giant seat in Jardin de Plantes

Giant seat in Jardin de Plantes

Without doubt the highlight was “Les Machines de L’ile”, an impossibly fantastical creation of Jules Verne type creatures.  There is a Heron with an 8 metre wing span that flies and carries passengers, a larger than life study ant, carnivorous plants, and then there is the Great Elephant!  A monstrous mass of metal 3 times the size of an actual elephant.  Really it is something that needs to be experienced to comprehend – hopefully our amateur footage does some justice.

We were all pretty pumped about the elephant!

We were all pretty pumped about the elephant!

Mic kept a safe distance! Getting trampled would certainly end our bike tour!

Mic kept a safe distance! Getting trampled would certainly end our bike tour!

Riding the beast!

Riding the beast!

Standing atop!

Standing atop!

Don't worry she didn't really put her hand int!

Don’t worry she didn’t really put her hand in!

Machines Machines

The giant Heron.

The giant Heron.

Amaya was apprehensive at first but soon warmed to the beast and added it to her growing collection of amazing sights and endless possibilities.

It also turns out that Shoshanna is not the only person in France complaining about the weather.  It has been the wettest May on record and shows no real sign of giving way to sustained brilliant sunshine.  Please think of us as we inch our way into a very damp Brittany.  For the moment though we are enjoying the wonderful hospitality of Patrick and Patricia in their lovely old house along Le Canal de Nantes.

Shelter from the rain

Shelter from the rain

Enjoying a scrumptious breakfast with Patrick and Patricia.

Enjoying a scrumptious breakfast with Patrick and Patricia.

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9 thoughts on “Les Machines de L’ile

    • Yes I agree it is amazing! I think Amaya is at the age where things like this are just accepted and incorporated into her world view. She did love riding the elephant!

  1. Wow! What a magic place. Straight out of Dinotopia…. Good to see you enjoying things despite the weather! Great photos – thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Hello Mr Hindmarsh!

    I’m glad your journey is going so well, aside from the rain. Those plants and mechanical animal thingies sound very interesting 🙂 Various members of your geography class wish to contact you… so this is and email from Karen and I, wondering when you will be in Berlin. Frau Arch wants to know how we can organise the meet-up. We’ll be in Germany/Austria from about the 14th of September to 13th October (just rough dates, I can’t remember exactly and we don’t have an itinerary yet) but that’s all I really know and wanted to say…

    Nerida R.

    • Hi Nerida! Hope the school year is treating you well. We will be in Berlin from the 28th of August to the 28th of September so just let me know where you are staying and when you will be in Berlin. It will be great to meet up!

  3. Hi Mike, Shosh and Amaya!Loved the mechanical elephant and the video clip. Looks like you have had better weather. It’s getting colder here although the long weekend coming up is looking ok.We are off to Hawks Nest with friends.You’ll be glad to be away at the moment Mike because PIP time is hotting up and they are starting to realise what they still need to do – you know the scenario. Have you checked out the Sydney Vivid light show online ? It’s even bigger this year – and there are more interactive installations. Thought you might like it Shoshana. We have been twice already – fun seeing people have such a good time.Our plans for Sth America are coming together but still deciding on what bits are “must dos”. Anticipation is good!The link to your blog via Clinica Verde is very positive – proud of your efforts.Happy spinning … Fran

    Date: Thu, 30 May 2013 14:10:14 +0000 To: frandunn@hotmail.com

    • Hi Fran.
      Glad you are still keeping up with our progress! We are currently in Brittany and have enjoyed about a week of very nice weather until today when it bucketed down on us. For the last 300kms or so we have been following a canal that links Nantes and Brest. There have been some stunning villages that we visited along the way!
      I don’t envy you with the PIPs but I am sure there will be some fantastic ones produced this year. When I get a decent connection I will check out the Vivid festival. Looking forward to visiting next year!
      Say hi to everyone for me.
      Michael

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