Heading to Machines de l’Île

Ah, the Projects Park! Do you know of many towns where you can be taken for a ride beside the Loire river on the back of a 12 metres-high and 21 metres-long elephant, or ride on a huge sea creatures roundabout?

The former shipyard has been converted into a place to enjoy life, where the past merges into the present and this is largely due to the Machines of the Island! This Nantes-based institution, 10 years old in 2016, offers the young and not-so-young the opportunity of experiencing machines imagined by Jules Vernes embodied by the mechanical genius of Leonardo da Vinci.

I will always remember the incredible feeling I had when for the first time I saw the elephant, the Long Ma dragon, not to mention the spider, moving about on l’île de Nantes or in the town centre: a true leap back to childhood, made my eyes sparkle with joy – meeting those giants made me shiver and almost moved me to tears. As if something magic had become reality!

The Great Elephant of the Island Machines, the town of Nantes’ mascot, was built by Compagnie la Machine. This troupe of entertainers brings extraordinary animals to life for the pleasure of the citizens of Nantes, but not only for Nantes. The Long Ma horse-dragon, for instance, was designed and built for China.

Let’s not leave childhood – let’s say something about the famous Nantes merry-go-round beside the Loire river: the Sea Creatures’ Roundabout.  Described as the World’s most original attraction in 2013, you have the opportunity of going aboard 35 deep sea creature rides on three different levels. The voyage takes you from the ocean floor to the surface of the sea via deep sea gorges. So how about a ride on the roundabout?!

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