The next part of our trip to France took us towards the coast, south west from Paris to the city of Nantes. Usually a 4 hour car trip, it was an easy 2.5 hours on a fast train. We flew through past fields and trees, villages and towns. 

Before we knew it we'd arrived in Nantes. 

We had the rest of the day to see the sights so off we went to get acquainted with the city. There was a chateau was in the block next to where we were staying. A real chateau! We don't have many castles in Australia so I was impressed.

I wrote this on my instagram about walking around Nantes.

"Nantes is such an easy town to wander around in. There are green lines on the footpaths that lead you to all the main sights.. it’s like following a pirate’s treasure map where the bounty is beautiful buildings and museums, with the joy of seeing lots of wonderful things along the way."

Lots of cobbled stone paved streets led us past beautiful buildings and outdoor eateries

You know by now I like to take lots of random photos of fun things.

We came across this beautiful church.

I particularly loved the statue of Noah and his arc.

The stain glass windows were fascinating. The church had had restoration work done after a fire in the1970's so the windows were of that era.

A closer look...

I loved the designs, so colourful and full of movement. They didn't depict stories or pictures but they exuded joy and celebration and surely that is how one should feel in church.

Back outside and following the green line.

We came to the city's Botanic Gardens, the Les Jardin Des Plantes

I loved the mixed purples of these tulips.
With their dusting of purple pollen.

Cheery daisies!

Wall Flowers and Forget-Me-Nots were one of my favourite spring posy combinations when I was a florist. 

Glorious waterfalls of Wisteria!

We walked by the river

past this old biscuit factory where the famous Nantes Biscuits were made. It is now an arts center. 

We did a practise run on the tram to the venue where Pour L'amour du Fil was to be held.  The tram went from front of our hotel and the Exhibition Center was at the end of the line. It couldn't have been easier. It was exciting to see the big sign out the front.

The next day we visited the castle and saw the museum inside. 

In the afternoon we went on a wine tour.

It was just a small group of 4 people plus our tour leader. It was a great chance to get out to see the countryside and the surrounding villages. We visited different vineyards as we learnt about all sorts of aspects of the wine industry in France. 

We couldn't have picked a better place to taste wine, the beautiful french countryside surrounded by vineyards, we were pinching ourselves wondering if we were dreaming.

We stopped at this picturesque village.

And then onto Domaine de la Grange where Beatrice showed us around the winery.

and took us through a wine tasting.

The next day was the day of the Pour L'Amour du Fil!! In planning out my blog posts I've decided to keep the Quilt Show all in one post so that will be our next big mega blogpost. 

In the meantime I'll skip to our last sightseeing day in Nantes...

After being inside for 4 days at the quilt show it was great to get out in the fresh air and stretch our legs. 

We continually found new interesting areas in Nantes to walk around and curious details to spot.

A visit to Nantes wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Les Machines des l'ile, a museum or adventure park with giant machine creatures inspired by Jules Verne and steam punk and bucketloads of wonderful imagination.

There was a show with all sorts of giant creatures that moved around to exciting tales. The show was in French so we didn't really know what was going on but it was all very dramatic and fun to watch as the crowd responded with oooohs and aaaahs to the stories being told.

The exciting part for us was the giant elephant that you could ride on. We bought our tickets but had an hour or so to fill in before it was our turn to ride the elephant.

Time for a delicious lunch!! Monsieur Daisy with a Croque Monsieur Grilled sandwich! Yumm!

Afterwards as we milled around I saw a a pretty cart of delight! Marshmallows are one of my most favourite things in the world! My eyes lit up when I saw this pretty coloured cart of flavoured puffs! 

Every flavour you could think of.

Thank you Mr Marshmallow!

The flavours I chose were pamplemousse (grapefruit), violet, bergamot, coconut and passionfruit.

Mr Daisy says that of all the fun things we did and saw in France, seeing the marshmallow cart was the thing that made me the happiest.

After our marshmallow dreamy delights it was time to ride the elephant!

We had to go to a platform a couple of stories up. The elephant arrived and and little bridge came out so we could climb on.

Off we went, slowly but surely, riding on a big 12meter tall mechanical elephant.  It felt very high up, and swayed slightly from side to side with each step, I guess like a real elephant would. Children ran along beside it and the elephant would playfully spray them with water from its trunk and they would run away with happy screams and laughter. 

At one point Mr Marshmallow rode past with his cart. I called out to him and he waved at us. 

Soon the ride was over and we climbed down feeling exhilarated to have had such an unusual, fantastical experience.

I'll leave my journey there for now.. the next post will be all about my Pour L'Amour du Fil, and my colourful Whizz Bang exhibit. 

Though here is a little peek - The night before the show opened Quiltmania shared this photo on their social media. You can imagine how excited I was to see Happy As A Clam being hung and my name up in lights.