Bienvenue à Nantes !

Bonjour tout le monde, bienvenue à Nantes ! Aujourd’hui, je vais être votre guide touristique. Je m’appelle Eve et je suis étudiante de troisième année de l’université de Strathclyde où j’étudie le français et l’espagnol. Je viens de Glasgow dans l’ouest de l’Écosse mais cette année je vis à Nantes en France pour mon année étrangère. Ici, je travaille comme assistante de langue dans trois écoles primaires dans une ville côtière voisine, Saint-Nazaire.

Je ne vis qu’à Nantes depuis deux mois mais je l’aime déjà ! Nantes est une grande ville située dans le nord-ouest de la France, proche de la côte atlantique et qui fait partie du département 44, Loire Atlantique. C’est une ville industrielle qui est chargée d’histoire. De nos jours c’est une ville vivante avec beaucoup d’étudiants, travailleurs et familles. La grande quantité des musées, cinémas, et autres sites culturels garantit que la ville est pleine des événements culturels.  Elle est décrite comme une version petite de Paris dans l’ouest de la France. Venez avec moi pour découvrir un peu de ma nouvelle ville ! 

1e arrêt – La Gare

La Gare, an essential to every city. I have found myself being a regular visitor to the Gare as I work in a little seaside town about an hour away from Nantes called St. Nazaire. I can usually be found there still half asleep at 7am waiting on my train to work! Also, I recently took a trip to Paris which was only 2 hours away (!!) on the train and hope to make some more trips around France over the year.

2ème arrêt – La boulangerie

Baguettes, beignets, croissants, pain au chocolats, madeleines, macrons…

Those are just some of the amazing things you can find in La boulangerie. Top tip for when you go to France: ask for une baguette tradition. This is a baguette which according to the Décret Pain 1993 (yes, the French have laws on how their bread is made!!)  has to be made on the premises and is only allowed to be made with 4 ingredients; wheat flour, water, salt and yeast.

3ème arrêt – La Librairie

On one of my first days at work another assistant told me that Nantes is famous for bookshops. After this, I couldn’t stop seeing them. There are sometimes 2 or 3 on the same street! I like to read but I have found a new love for wandering around bookshops here when I have a bit of free time. There are also a couple of outdoor book markets around the city too.

4ème arrêt – La crêperie

CRÊPES ! One of the best parts of living in France is having Crepes on demand. Nantes is the historical capital of Bretagne where the crêpe was first born! There are various types you can have, the most common are: au sucre, au chocolat, au citron frais et sucre and à la confiture. There is also a savoury version of a crêpe called a gallette which usually have toppings like cheese, ham, mushrooms or egg and are very tasty too!

5ème arrêt- Le marché

Chaque samedi, a massive car park by the river is transformed into le marché. There arehundreds of stalls with fresh fruit and veg, fish, meat, cheese, hot food, household goods and so much more. The atmosphere is amazing and you can hear phrases like ‘Bonjour, je voudrais un kilo de…’ , ‘ça vous fera vous fera €2.50’ and ‘vous avez la monnaie ?’.

6ème arrêt- Le château des ducs de Bretagne

Le château des ducs de Bretagne is situated right in the middle of the quartier Bouffay. It was built in the late 15th century by the last Duke of Brittany, François II – and his daughter, Anne of Brittany, who was twice Queen of France. It is now home to the Musee d’Histoire de Nantes and has a variety of interesting exhibitions.

7ème arrêt- Le Jardin des Plantes

Le Jardin des Plantes is a lovely place to go walking or to sit and have a wee coffee. I personally have found it to be where I write my postcards home. There are lots of pretty flowers and water features. Large, playful illustrations by French illustrator Jean Julien can also be seen dotted around the gardens.

8ème arrêt – L’Erdre / L’Île de Versailles

The river Erdre goes through the departements of Maine-et-Loire and Loire-Atlantique and joins onto the Loire Valley in Nantes. You can find lots of nice bars and restaurants along its banks and can take a walk that follows it through the town. This is probably one of my favourite spots on our tour as I have been lucky enough to find a flat onlooking the Erdre and a little island called L’Île de Versailles, a Japanese-inspired tea garden. My flat is in the very slanty yellow building you can see in the picture, look at the view I get from my room!

9ème arrêt – Mémorial de l’abolition de l’esclavage et Les Anneaux de Buren

During the 18th century Nantes was the most active slave trading port in France. From the late 17th century to the beginning of the 19th century, slave trading in Nantes resulted in the deportation of more than 500,000 African slaves into French ownership. This dark part of Nantes history is remembered in several museums but namely in two memorials the Mémorial de l’abolition de l’esclavage and Les Anneaux de Buren.

10ème arrêt – Les machines de l’île

Savez-vous que Nantes a un éléphant ?  Les machines de l’île is a project that was created by designers François Delaroziere and Pierre Orefice.  The machines are a set of giant mechanical animals that were inspired by the ‘invented worlds’ of Jules Verne, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci and the industrial history of Nantes. The local favourite is the Giant Elephant which walks around the area with visitors on its back.

Voici c’est la fin du tour. J’espère que vous avez passé bien !

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