He is a sad animal.

Everyone has a unique perspective, a way of seeing and experiencing the world. Upon arriving in Nantes, the 6th biggest city in France located 40 minutes north of La Roche-Sur-Yon, I wondered how to explain 6 foreign students and 2 french student tour guides’ impressions of an entire city. I can’t possibly know what everyone thought at every moment, but there are some things that go without explaining. They are evident.

Saint Paul Cathedrale is a massive marvel of architecture, which has seen its share of damage throughout wars. It seems even larger when compared to the smallest student of us all, Sinyi.

It’s evident: It is big. She is small. 

Our guides whisk us down a side street towards the Moat Gardens which surround the Royal Palace. These things were designed to keep invaders away, but are useless to euro toting tourists. There is a statue in front of the Palace which is locked in an eternal gaze at the Royal gates. We all agree it is beautiful because it is our first time there, but somehow I imagine the frozen figure is is quite tired of looking at it.

Inside the palace walls we find the open courtyard where the royals would host events and parties. It is surrounded by walkways giving us breathtaking views of the city. It’s as if at any moment we could make a royal decree, but we say nothing. It’s too beautiful. 

As we leave, there is a dog. Obviously, he was not allowed in, and I don’t blame him for looking so depressed. He has to stay outside while we live like kings and queens. He is a sad animal.

However, when we visit the Machines of the Isle of Nantes we find beasts with completely different attitudes. The metallic mammals, reptiles and amphibians are the work of François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice who crossed the imaginary worlds of Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci. 
Their proudest result is a mammoth who stomps triumphantly, while spectators stand in awe of his intimidating stature. His trunk waves wildly through the air, spewing water on the crowd, and at one point turns spray those on his back. 

One of the best, and even most beautiful ways to view a city is from the top. At the pinnacle of the Tour Bretagne Tour is the Le Nid (The Nest) which is designed just as its name and altitude suggest. 

It is filled with overgrown birds and egg chairs, and when we look upon the city we see where clumsy birds have dropped their eggs.  We can see all of the sights and streets, including the Saint Paul Cathedrale.

It’s evident, from this perspective, it’s not so big anymore.