Tag Archives: Carnaval

Clisson, Pornic, Nantes

DISCLAIMER: This post was written four days ago but I was too busy to upload pics thus the delayed posting…

Spring has sprung in Nantes!! The sun has been out and it’s been around 70 degrees…I couldn’t be happier! But apparently, we’re going back to winter this weekend (the last weekend with all of the assistants together).

The past two weeks have been filled with trying to take in as much of Nantes as possible, visiting the little areas surrounding Nantes, and taking advantage of the sun finally coming out to play in Nantes.

A couple weekends ago, Anna, Sarah, Katie, and I took the train to Clisson, a village located about 30 minutes south east of Nantes and considered to be part of the “vignoble nantais” or the Nantes’ vineyards. It’s right at the confluence of the rivers Sèvre and Moine and is a small, picturesque village which is also called “Clisson l’Italienne” because of its Tuscany-inspired architecture. We arrived at about 12:30, had lunch, walked around, tried some Muscadet, and were ready to leave by 4:00…it was gorgeous but tiny. There was of course a church and a chateau but there was also a big park with outstanding scenary. Fun Fact: Clisson is home to the music festival, HellFest. Despite its small size, we enjoyed walking around the little main street and sampling some really good Muscadet!

Clisson street

Clisson street

During the week, we went to see our friend Joséphine in her German play, which was quite the experience. Apparently, it was based on German children’s stories but we could not understand any of it and watching it didn’t really help to clarify things either…but she did great!!

And speaking of Joséphine, her friends from Colchester came to visit for 5 days and it was nice to spend time with some new English people (gotta get used to that accent for next year) and to spend more time with Joséphine and her French friends whose English is impeccable.

Last weekend was boat weekend. We rented an electric boat to cruise on the Erdre river! We had a nice view of Nantes and La Chapelle from the river and it was only drizzling and not full on raining like usual, which was pleasant not that bad…But it was nice to spend time with the asisstants and enjoy some wine, brioche, and honey while on the river.

Driving the boat!

Driving the boat!

That night, we finally made it to Le Remorqueur, which is the club that’s on an old boat. Not the best place we’ve been but at least we can say we’ve been there!

This past weekend, a bunch of us went to the town of Pornic which, like Nantes, was historically part of Bretagne and definitely feels more Breton than Nantes. It’s right on the coast of the Atlantic, about an hour away from Nantes by bus. The weather was perfect! Sunny and warm, not warm enough to go swimming, but comfortable. I had the best galette (a Breton specialty) I’ve ever had at this small creperie.

The Creperie in Pornic

The Creperie in Pornic

It had a chateau (of course) but you can’t go inside so we just spent the day enjoying the views and the weather on the beach. A perfect (almost summer-like) day.

Les filles in Pornic!

Les filles in Pornic!

la plage

la plage

Apparently, this time of year is Carnaval in Nantes which they celebrate multiple times during a week…so we went to the parade last Sunday during the day and again this past Saturday at night. The floats are pretty elaborate with music and moving parts and lights. And the French kids get really into throwing confetti and spraying silly string. There was confetti EVERYWHERE afterwards and it’s still stuck in the gutters and near the curbs of the street. The theme for the parade was ‘cinema’ so they had a Toy‘s Story themed float and A Nightmare Before Christmas one. Some of them were defintely creepy…but I guess that’s French Carnaval.

The Western float

The Western float

Carnaval de la nuit

Carnaval de la nuit

Unfortunately, we had to say good bye to Sarah on Monday 😦 We spent our last evening together enjoying the weather and trying to find an ice cream place that was open after 5:00!

We’ve made a bucket list of things we want to do now that we only have about 2 weeks left (whaaaat?!?) and so we’re slowly crossing things off. Anna and I went to the Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Nantes and saw a lot of taxidermy as well as several live snakes…Some of the assistants have started playing soccer every once and a while which has been so much fun! I’m loving my French theatre class AND I was quiz master for our weekly trivia session last Thursday…my Texas round would’ve made any Texan proud but I’m sure the other assistants were not as appreciative…

Snakes at the Natural History Museum

Snakes at the Natural History Museum

We have a party planned for Friday, a big night out Saturday night, a picnic with an Easter Egg hunt on Sunday, and perhaps a trip to another beach town on Monday!!