Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a little tour in South Brittany

The past all around us, Clisson medieval city
The rocky coast of St Gildas, South of the Loire estuary
Guérande, a medieval walled city
and the famous salt ponds of Guérande,

Le Croisic, active fishing harbor on a beautiful coast
old mills of the 15 century, back to activity

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ouch ....!

France is a country to visit, to enjoy  food, wine and savoir vivre, but for me none of that, or well... some anyway before I submit myself to the knife of a surgeon.....Nothing dramatic.... but it will be a big relief to have it done before going to remote places. I do not feel confortable at all to rely on a local shaman !

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A rare breed of elephant...(click on title for more pictures)

Yes, in Nantes, my home city, there is some strange animals called : les machines de l'île (de Nantes). They were born in the former big shipyard which was the heart of Nantes before it closed its doors 20 years ago. After been laid off some formers craftmen working in the yard decided to create strange creatures in wood, animated by hydraulic movements. They started with the Giant and the Little Giant which now tour the world big cities, and of course the famous Elephant. Now more than 30 creatures are created, a mixture of the world of Jules Verne, native of Nantes, and the wild and poetic imagination of artist craftmen.  A team of young craftmen and women work continuously on new projects, the goal is to create a giant carroussel where all these machines will be used for the fun of people. Meanwhile, everyone is invited to climb on a firing sea dragon, or a cute turtle or a roaring strange flying fish and can participate to make it lively by using some pedals, levers to move feet, eyes etc..

The little giant
It was a very good initiative that the people of Nantes apreciated.  The closing of the shipyard was a dramatic shock for Nantes which has always been an important harbor  since the Roman invasion .Now the deserted yard is lively again and instead of launching huge ships, some very strange beasts emerge from the big warehouses, and a giant and his little niece can come back after their vacations around the world.

The sea dragon

and the sultan's elephant

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

nordic summer


We left Röde Orm at anchor in the river, and flew to Sweden for a few weeks, to take care of a few land related matters.

Sweden is at its best during this so longed for mid summer that 9 millions of Swedish wait for during 10 months of the year. Luck is on their side, and ours, as the sun shines brightly over the country, and a very warm and hot weather swarms over the nordic lands. It is a bonanza of nature, as vegetation, humans and animals are united in a frenesy of life, knowing this break is short. The days seem to never end and the sun takes only a short break to disapear still not to far from the horizon before showing up again.
We are busy removing the last chains that tie Magnus to land but we  would rather enjoy sailing during this beautiful period in the archipelago. Instead, we drive back and forth betwen Malmö, Gamleby, Gälve giving me the oportunity to discover more, even Stokholm, so I enjoy it this way too, between packing stuff in boxes !!!