08/31/2010, Rezè- Bretagne (boat in Rio Guadiana)
Not too much sailing stories on this blog in a LOOOOONG time now.... I know.
That will change soon enough, and in the meantime I'd like to share another quote I came across this morning doing some random 'voyaging' on the web
'It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top'. - HST
Thoe photo is of 'Clary' a sistership (L32) currently on Svalbard/Spitzbergen
courtesy of Ulf and Pia - Well done! looking forward to meet you where it's warm and nice in the future!
food for thought.... found this quote this morning and thought it too good not to share with whoever might be reaading...
'To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.'
-from Wanderer by Sterling Hayden
Well, we will have to stay here for a few weeks, due to several reasons. That said, we are far from unhappy, enjoying the best the french cuisine can offer...
Today we made a car trip eastwards to have a closer look at the medieval little town Clisson with it's huge castle, once inhabited by Chevalier Clisson. An open market built in heavy timber frames still resides in the centre of the town since those days and the castle is in quite good shape too, even if it's considered a ruin.
The River Sèvre, a tributary to La Loire, is quietly moving along this green valley where the old oaks and chestnut trees stretch out over the river to catch as much sunshine as possible. Given that it is Sunday today there is 'beaucoup de monde' (lots of people) canoeing, fishing, playing petanque and badminton etc. Picnics to the right and to the left and fairly cool i the shade of the majestic trees despite the heat of the afternoon sun.
A very nice and peaceful place that I am happy Isabelle's parents showed to us.
Some pictures from here in the 'photo gallery'
We visited a very interesting place. The famous author Jules Verne is probably the most well-known individual born here. So what was more appropriate than to celebrate him in style on a very interesting localtion, right in the heart of the city - Le ôle de Nantes - where the once so lively shipyard had several thousand 'chantiers' building all kinds of large vessels. The yard today is a fascinating mix of old buildings, art, like the spectacular series of circles along the river on the western side of the island. The island is within the Loire River, that flows through the city and naturally was a superb location for ship-building. Just opposite the yard, on the S shores are the houses where the 'Cape Horn'-skippers used to live and on the opposite shore, north of the ôle(island) are the buildings that once contained the offices of the companys involved in trading overseas, also including the not so glorious slave-trade.
Anyway, when all the workers of the huge ship-yard got laid-off and the ship-building became history here (there is still a big yard in S:t Nazaire also along the river) some of them used their skills to build a giant - think a Huge Marionette doll) that became famous and now is touring the major cities of the world.
Their experience from that encouraged them to go on, and someone came up with the brillinat idea of constructing a series of 'machines' in hommage to Jules Verne and all his creative innovations.
First, they built an elephant - 'The Sultan's Elephant'- that's 12 meters high and weighs 42 tonnes! It consists of a steel skeleton with beautifully crafted wood sections forming the body. It's powered by a Cummins diesel engine and the very natural, albeit slow, movements are hydraulically powered. (see pictures in the Photo Gallery side link)
The elphant takes passengers for a stroll around the area and was a tremendous success that has become a trademark of Nantes by now even if it's just 3 years old. The Elephant has been followed of aa series of other machines and there are more to come. The workshop seemed very busy.
Children and adults alike enjoy themselves in this lovely place.
The National Day of France, and here we are with Isabelle's family to take part of the celebrations. In memory of the French Revolution 1789, which led to the decapitation of Louis XVI and his Marie Antoinette on January 21 1793.
(Thank you Eric for correcting me on this)
For me as Swedish I had expected this day to be celebrated a bit more vigorously, but all in all it is quite similar to the National Day back home ( June 6)
Fireworks at night, a parade or two during the day. The President holding a speach (would be the King in Sweden) and so on.
I am sure everybody enjoy their day off work though, that's a common thing too.
The picture of today is a Hortensia flower, so characteristic for Brittany, where you can see it against almost every wall facing the sun on the houses.