Today was a national holiday in Nantes, so Brittnee, Kristy, and I went into downtown Nantes with a few of our new teammates. We met Laura yesterday, but also met Marion and Tiphaine this afternoon. Laura picked us up at 11:45 and we went into the city (about a 15 minute drive) for lunch. We ate at a really cute little restaurant that had lots of different food (plus side) but it didn’t have any english menus (down side). The girls helped us figure things out, as Kristy and I had salmon with some potatoes and ratatouille. We were pretty full from that, but had heard about a ‘chocolate mousse’ and Laura and Marion decided we should get some for the table. Little did I know, it was literally a GIANT BOWL that they put on the table. They gave us two plates to put as much on as we wanted. We didn’t eat much of it, but oh. my. goodness. It was the BEST, RICHEST mousse I have ever tasted. guh.
After lunch, we walked through the city centre towards the old Castle of the Dukes of Brittany (Brittany is a cultural region of France). Nothing super crazy special, but how many times do you get to kick it in a castle for a little bit? It also gave us a nice view of some of the surrounding area.
We walked back through some of the shopping areas of the city and took the car over the river (The Loire) to the ‘Les Machines de l’ile.’ (The Isle of Machines) Two artists chose Nantes to create some incredible machinery such as a giant elephant that walks around the area with people on it and a huge merry-go-round was built just this year as well.
Born from the imaginations of François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice, it is a blend of the invented worlds of Jules Verne, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and the industrial history of Nantes, on the exceptional site of the former shipyards.
We walked further along the river and grabbed a drink at one of the bars in the area then headed back to the car and the apartment to call it a day. It was a GREAT overview afternoon to the city! The centre is really adorable with lots of restaurants and shops. I’m not sure how I pictured French style and architecture to be, but the city seems so French to me! I definitely need to work hard on picking up the language, but it was another great day. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to our first day on the court!! 🙂