Nantes is a river port, and, during the pre-modern period, was a major player in sea trade as it was about as high upstream as ships of the day could go. When the Industrial Revolution led to the possibility of iron hulled ships which soon became bigger than any wooden hulled ones, Nantes found it couldn’t handle the larger vessels … and that’s where St. Nazaire came in … it was just a sleepy fishing village until the merchants of Nantes decided to turn it into the front end of their trade.
Anyway, I stopped overnight and hit the Ducal Palace and Museum …
There were some interesting Roman, Medieval and Modern (WW2 German occupation & Resistance) displays in the museum … but, as is all too common, they were poorly situated and badly lit, so no photos of the interior, sorry.
Puy du Fou
This is a French ‘historical’ (for some limited values of ‘historical’) theme park that is, evidently, much better than Disneyland Paris … and on the recommendation of one of the backers of Orbis Mundi I spent two days there …
Sure, it’s a theme park. I get it. But it was annoying.
The real reason for being there was, anyway, the live performances – which were amazing … at least the ones with English commentary (or English commentary that worked) were … around 10 or 11 and it took me two days to manage to squeeze them all in as the place was hugely crowded both days (the end of August and just before most French schools outside of Paris and the deep south went back.
Of course, the performances were even less historical than the villages … but, what the heck, they were huge fun.
The next post will be about the Musee des Blindes (Tank Museum) at Saumur followed by two Loire Chateaux.