A Travellerspoint blog

Day 3 Still in Nantes

Pour l'Amour du Fil ... For the Love of Thread Patchwork Show

"Home" from the patchwork show ..... Met a few Australians too. There are other Hotel guests here attending the patchwork show. I guessed these ladies were patch workers because they had dinner at the same Crepe cafe as me last night . A scarf made from Suffolk puffs is a dead giveaway!!

Brigette Giblin was there and she speaks perfect French. I asked her how she came to speak French so well and she said it!s because she is French. I didn't know that ... Did anyone else? Introduced myself to Mr Dougherty, Kathy's husband John ... his badge said Mr Dougherty! Kathy was teaching at the time. Lynette Anderson, Linda Koenig, Loani Prior were Australians featured here as well as some of the stalls selling patterns from Di Ford, Threadbear and Somerset Patchwork. Great to see we have a solid influence here. The show was smaller than I expected. The theme was Le Maison (houses) and quilt sizes must have been restricted as there were quilts no bigger than 50cm, except for the quilts brought along by the invited guests and displayed in their stylized "rooms".

Some random facts I learned today ...

  • Fat quarter is the same in French
  • Tampon is French for stamp .... as in the ones you lick and put on postcards and the ones that use an ink pad
  • The French write 1 and 7 the same except they put a - through the 7 to distinguish it from the 1. Therefore care must be taken when checking prices.
  • There is a trend towards the linen look in fabrics
  • Blatant photographing of display quilts on stalls was occurring so I did the same, except twice I was stopped so obliged.
  • There was a lot of cross stitch and other forms of needlework catered for in the stalls, not just patchwork.

Much time was spent looking at a lot of past issues of Quiltmaker. The deal was you could purchase 3 back issues for 30€. I didn't think it was such a good deal as most of their books were from 14€ to 35€, with no advertisements.

My friends would be pleased to hear that I did not stay until the end. But it did close at 7pm. Is the NSW Quilters Guild listening?

Took lots of photos of quilts etc. the camera is asking for overtime!

Have walked many kilometers today. Visited a shopping complex (similar to Westfield) to check out a supermarket. Bought something for tea .... Ham and tomatoes and "6 pains suedois moelleux". They tasted ok and the packet suggested they were suitable for a piqué-nique so I walked "home" and had a piqué-nique in my hotel room .... along with the pigeon on the window sill. No kidding! There is no fridge in the room so the piqué-nique made a nice change and it was interesting to shop like a French local. Even though my French is clumsy, I have been able to manage so far. I forgot that the supermarkets here and some in London only accept Credit Card payment .... guess it's a security measure.

It rained again right on 3:30pm. The wind is chilling and, from what I saw on the French news tonight (while eating my piqué-nique) this chilly and windy weather is to continue.

French dogs (le chiens) are well catered for. A shop down the rue from here sells everything a dog could dream of and on! Be careful where you step though as doggie do do bags appear to be non-existent.

Not sure what tomorrow's plans are yet but thinking of a "hop on, hop off" city bus trip ..... It's less than half price if you get the first bus at 9am!

Nantes is a contradiction ...... My hotel is in the "old city". The venue for the patchwork show is in the new part of town. The town is split in two by the Loire River with an island in the centre and the buildings are predominantely new designs and recently constructed on the opposite side of the city from my hotel. I'm pleased that I chose the old city to stay in though I must say, I wasn't aware before I arrived how different the two parts of the city are .... Chalk and cheese. I wonder what was demolished to make way for these new "Canberra"-style commercial and government buildings?

The wisteria, camellias and prunus are in flower here. The Jardin des Plantes is two rues away from my hotel so I have passed it several times on my walking trips .... It looks beautiful from outside the high walls so tomorrow when the gates are open, I'll take the camera and explore.

Thank you for enduring the patchwork part of the blog for those non-needle women among you.

Until tomorrow, Love Lyn x

Posted by Lyn Dennis 11:53 Archived in France Tagged supermarket patchwork pique_nique Comments (2)

Day 2

Paris to Nantes

all seasons in one day 10 °C

Things I've learned in less than 24 hours:

  • The wheelie bag will soon need a wheel alignment ... They are not designed for cobblestone streets
  • You can order a goat crepe ... Thankfully the high school french/english dictionary saved the day at the last minute. Poisson = fish = salmon and it was a safe order, even though it was cold!
  • The hotel in Nantes has a staircase from a lighthouse (at least I think so). My room is on the third floor (there are only four floors, however there are half floors so I guess there are actually seven floors) oh, and no lift. So much fun dragging luggage up to my room but at least I am here until Monday until I have to drag it down.
  • I won't be complaining again about the size of a French lift ...... At least in the Paris hotel, there was a lift ....even though my shower at home was about the same dimensions.
  • The tourist office in Nantes offers tours on the same basis as our TAFE Plus courses ....... You book and pay and if there sufficient passengers for a tour it proceeds, otherwise you receive a refund. Yes, the trip from Nantes to Mt Saint Michel did not have enough passengers for Saturday so I will have to rethink that trip.
  • Parles vous Anglais, Oui, Merci, Bon jour and Bon soir have been my most frequently used words for the last two days. Only the French could have a word for a night-time hello!
  • Even other people at breakfast say to perfect strangers .... Bonjour .....so who am I to be different
  • It rains about 3:30pm every afternoon then fines up afterwards. Note to self ... Pack the umbrella every day.
  • Coffee, tea and chocolate are the same words in French and English ....... I could survive here forever!
  • Chocolate is served with EVERY meal except breakfast! Yup, I could definitely survive here forever!
  • Can't figure out the pedestrian crossings ..... No buttons to press to stop traffic ..... Just wait until the little person on the pedestrian light turns green and you're good to cross.
  • I wouldn't be alive to write this blog if I was driving. Geographic dyslexia has struck again. Whenever I am in the Northern hemisphere, my sense of direction is definitely geared to still being in the Southern hemisphere.
  • Looking left first before crossing the road does not come naturally .... See point above!
  • Looking for a taxi driver sitting in the left-hand side driver side does not come naturally either. I looked in a taxi in the rank and thought the driver was out of the cab ...... It turned out he was ....... No driver in either left or right hand seat. Note to self ..... The driver will be on the kerbside ..... Remember this!
  • Discovered a sacreligous use for vinyl records ..... One shop advertised they would buy old records ....... About 10 shops further on, in the window was a six shelved round table made from old vinyls. Please don't get distressed With this news Liam.
  • Sally was right, there are chemist shops everywhere with their distinctive green flashing neon signs.
  • Use the French/English dictionary more often ..... Not sure if some places are cafes or massage parlours.
  • Don't get hungry before 7pm as the majority of restaurants won't open to commence serving until strictly 7pm.

So after a lovely train ride this afternoon watching the patchwork of French country side speed past ..... Along with the quaintest of French villages, the train arrived in Nantes. The country fields are coloured lime green/yellow (probably canola?), freshly ploughed brown and dark green crops. It was pretty from the aircraft coming into Paris yesterday as well. Lovely typical French farm houses, chateaux - big and small - dot the landscape between Paris and Nantes. Explored many of the streets surrounding the hotel this afternoon and visited a Cathedral. There are many in this city. The hotel is opposite a beautiful cathedral that has a chime every quarter hour but it can only be heard from outside. my room is very quiet - at the back of the building.

After a dinner of salmon crepe, it was time to walk off two days worth of meals and check out where the patchwork show is tomorrow. I found it without any difficulty .... Well, I had had this afternoon to practice walking in the right direction. However, instinctively, my brain is southern hemisphere oriented.

This city is famous for Breton biscuits. On this evening's walk, a new building had a traditionally-shaped biscuit on the front of the building. Just as I thought about this biscuit city, I passed a street named rue de biscuite!

Thank you for reading this travel blog. You can even subscribe is you care to. There should be a subscribe button on the right-hand side of the screen.

Hopefully, check in again tomorrow. Love Lyn x

Posted by Lyn Dennis 12:59 Archived in France Tagged cathedral nantes biscuit patchwork Comments (0)

Arrived In Paris

Day 1 (I think)

rain 12 °C

Was it yesterday I left Sydney? I've been in the air longer than on the ground! Sent an email but not sure it transmitted successfully. Here is what I said .....
Hi everyone

I finally made it to Paris, got my passport stamped and practiced some basic French. Caught the train from Charles de Gaulle airport to the city (9euros). Was supposed to then catch another train to the metro station close to my hotel but couldn't negotiate the stairs with luggage so braved the rain (yes rain) and caught a taxi to the hotel (7 euros). The purpose of this hotel is to recover from jet lag (so tired) before heading to Nantes for the Patchwork show on Friday. Tomorrow will be traveling by train to Nantes and exploring the old city and perhaps a trip to Mont St Michel on the weekend.

Emirates flight was fabulous - great service, lots of legroom and space around the seats, watched The Descendants, War Horse and The Day - in between sleeps.

My "cat" friends will appreciate this .... On the journey from the airport to Paris, a little black cat face popped out of a bag on a man's lap ..... It was tiny but the owner was stroking it and calming it down. A lovely little aside for the first day in Paris.

Japanese chicken and noodles for dinner (8€).

Warm shower and pj's then sleep. Love to everyone ... Lyn

Ps wouldn't be without my iPad.

Posted by Lyn Dennis 10:50 Archived in France Tagged paris Comments (1)

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