Les Machines de l’île
Since they are direct links between Nantes and London, Dublin, Manchester, Glasgow, Shannon and Southampton it is a destination ideally suited to the short-break or as a base for a longer holiday. And the machines are just one of the things Nantes offers the visitor. Especially if go now as it is the time of Le Voyage a Nantes.
Beginning last month and lasting until the middle of August there can’t be many places in the world that convert their cities into a giant exhibition of the arts. One of the reasons it can do this so effectively is that Nantes has spent much of the last twenty five years creating a reputation for itself as a place that visitors must go to in order to sample an eclectic mix of heritage, modern art, food and huge machines meandering through the streets. And all this is set in a city that has regenerated itself from a fishing port into a modern architectural attraction.
But to the machines. Open every day from the 14th of July, (when else) is the Les Machines de L’ile, which is the result of efforts by designers/builders/engineers – call them what you will – to create animal machines. What will they come up with this year? The Nantes elephant will be there of course, all forty foot of it, squirting water at anyone that gets close by as it carries up to 45 people each time on a trip around. But who knows what other feats of machine imagination – or are they toys – they will come up with? You have the impression that what ever idea they come up with, they will achieve it somehow!
This year, there will be their version of “Sea World,’ an eighty foot high carousel that will have a giant crab and a manta ray. In all there will be twenty-seven moving parts to enjoy. Already in development for the future is a 125 foot tree with herons perched on it. But you will be able to travel on the herons as they flit across the branches.
For boys of all ages,Les Machines de l’île , are a sure-fire draw for visitors to see. But make sure you don’t miss all the other sights Nantes has on offer as well.
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Image courtesy of Le Voyage a Nantes.