Neptune Favors the Traveller

We took the slow train out of Bordeaux on Sunday and headed northeast toward the Atlantic Ocean. After about four hours, we pulled into Nantes, the sixth largest city in France with about one million people living in the metropolitan area.

Located just 31 miles from the Atlantic Ocean on the Loire River, Nantes is a port city. No surprise that its motto claims the god of the sea favors travellers.

Neptune and his cohorts have certainly favored the Travelling Longinos! It was supposed to rain this week in Nantes, but thus far, 60 percent probabilities of rain have resulted predominantly in sunshine. Coastal weather is unpredictable.

The châteaux of the Loire Valley are famous both for their architectural beauty and vineyards. Nantes is home to the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, a rather stunning castle in its own right.


Entrance to the château.


Inside the castle wall.


This is the last castle along the Loire before the river meets the sea. Construction began in the 15th century and buildings were added/restored through the 18th century. I was particularly struck by the remnants of the moat.


And of course, the gargoyles.


However, when it comes to gargoyles, the Gothic church, St. Similien, that sits right beside our apartment is no slouch. They’re downright disturbing!


Freaky gargoyles on St. Similien.

I much prefer the view of the church from our bedroom window, n’est ce pas?


Today, we took our first boat trip on the Loire. A ferry leaves Nantes and crosses the river just 10 minutes downstream (or was it upstream? Hard for me to tell on a tidal river.) at Trentemoult.


Trentemoult is a village in the city. It was once home to fishermen and sea captains, but now it’s a quaint, quiet escape from the noise of Nantes.

The village features colorful three-story houses built with the Loire’s rising water levels in mind.


In the 19th century, captains built bigger homes surrounded by gardens filled with exotic plants brought back from their travels. We spotted this lovely maison under renovation.


It would seem Neptune did favor the travelling captains who settled in Trentemoult.

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