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Catch-up post #3: day 3 in #Nantes, #France (#travel #holiday) - Random thoughts — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Catch-up post #3: day 3 in #Nantes, #France (#travel #holiday) [Apr. 6th, 2017|12:10 pm]
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[Current Location |Belgium ]
[music |Lindsey Stirling, the new album]

Photo of the day: 12.2.2017 (day 43)

Third day in Nantes, our last day.
Sunday, February 12 2017

Nantes, part 3/3

At breakfast we discovered what the fuss with military and the black hawk was the day before. Turned out they had arrested some wannabe terrorists that had a bunch of explosives in their home and wanted to go blow up parts of Paris. I have to say that at that point, I didn't quite so much regret leaving Nantes that very same day. Which is ridiculous of me because there are plenty of folks like that in all major cities these days, sadly.

The weather had been lovely on both Friday and Saturday, but on Sunday it was a little bleak and drizzly. Nevertheless, not wanting to waste our last hours in town sitting in our room, we decided to take the short walk (about 15 minutes)


to the Natural History Museum.

Natural History Museum Nantes

The Natural History Museum (<---- English link) is very, very small. But they make good use of what little room they have. And they had some really cool prehistoric things on display I hadn't seen anywhere else.

Natural History Museum Nantes

Their ant exhibit was pretty much a really awesome GIANT ant farm.

Natural History Museum Nantes

And their serpentarium was a bunch of (rare) snakes that all seemed to be perfectly content in their nice, large enclosures. You could really see they took very good care of their snakes, which was very nice to see.

Natural History Museum Nantes

Natural History Museum Nantes

Natural History Museum Nantes

The final part of the museum was super sad, full of taxidermy and animal skeletons :(.

Natural History Museum Nantes

It was around 11am when we got back to the hotel, as it didn't take long to see the entire museum, and it was only a very short walk to and from it to the hotel, so we decided to pack the last bits, check out and leave for the bus stop to take the shuttle. That was also a very short walk, and it was good we left when we did, because the weather went from drizzly to pouring just as we got onto the bus (it had just arrived when we got there, and the bus driver was kind enough to let people wait on the bus instead of outside it as it wasn't leaving for 10 more minutes).

So we ended up at the airport mega early. Which may seem silly but bare in mind that aside from Starbucks, nothing was open in Nantes. So we had the option of sitting in a mega full Starbucks, which was quite far from any of the shuttle bus stops, or sitting in the lobby of our hotel (which could have been an option also). Or we could just go to the airport and sit in any of the cafés there, which amounted to the same thing. Well, sort of at least, because sadly Nantes Atlantique is very, very bleak. And whilst there are little cafés and diners and even a restaurant, it was also very crowded, and we were lucky to even find two seats. I did want something warm to eat, so I got a grilled sandwich (which was both cheap AND really tasty, win!) and for the rest, we just ate the food we had brought along (I'm glad we did bring our own food!).

We also couldn't check in our luggage when we got there, like in Zaventem. Which was understandable as it's a small airport, but it was no fun to be stuck with the trolley. And when we did get to check in, the lady was really difficult about the fact that my extra luggage paperwork (originally we had carry on only flights, but I bought extra luggage rights for one piece of on board luggage) was in Dutch. As if that was my fault, which it was not because I had tried to get Brussels Airlines to send me a copy in French. To no avail. And even though it was in Dutch, it was really obviously made up so anyone could understand. When we left, all that info appeared when my ticket was scanned, so it wasn't an issue at all, but apparently flying home, that was another story. The airline sents you confirmation mails when you buy luggage rights, and they literally say that you don't have to print them for your flights. But let me assure you: you NEED to print them. It'll all be fine at Brussels Airport, but it's not necessarily fine at the other airport you'll be flying from.

As if waiting in for hours in a boring airport hall wasn't enough, our flight got delayed, and it was really difficult getting ANY information out of the airport staff. We couldn't really access the internet to find out more because the wifi was shite and unstable, and we were seriously getting worried about even getting home, as we would land pretty late and might not have a train home.
As the wifi was so rickety, we couldn't properly access the NMBS site, but thankfully my buddy Jonathan was online, and twitter did work, so he looked stuff up for me. Thank you! :)

Getting through security was also complete and utter chaos. Because I had a clear bag with medication, and a doctor's note in it, one of the security guys decided Bert and I had to take off our shoes to walk through the security gate thing. Because reasons, obviously. As if the chaos wasn't big enough as it was or something. But we complied, because as you know, there is no use in telling them what you think of their BS. Especially not if you still want to get on a plane home.

In the end, Brussels Airlines did change the flight times again, to still leave with a delay, but a smaller delay. And the flight was shorter. The staff was really friendly, and they did try to accommodate passengers as best they could, but it was really obvious they had put this flight together in a rush, and so there wasn't enough food in the plane, leaving a lot of people hungry and annoyed and being grouchy at the staff. Which I thought was really unfair, because the staff was super friendly and kind and none of it was their fault. I also don't understand why people didn't bring food along, or eat at the airport before the flight. It's so much more practical.

Basically, the second the plane landed we were at the doors to run out and the second we had our luggage we ran to the the train station (luckily we already had bought all our tickets) and JUST, with ONE minute to spare, got the last train to Louvain, where we got (with 5 minutes to spare) our LAST connection home. So that last part of the trip was really stressful, but we made it home. Phew!
I'm not sure I want to bother with flights past 4pm again, although this really could happen with any flight.

So yeah, that was our trip to Nantes.

I look forward to going there again. I don't look forward to flying there again though. We might have to look into alternative forms of transportation (suddenly the 12 hour train ride of 4 trains in total, or the 8 hour drive doesn't look so unappealing) because flying onto Nantes Atlantique again holds literally NO appeal to me.

Because it is sort of mandatory, my Nantes haul, which is a lot smaller than you'd expect from 3 days in a city and many shops, but I really just wanted to buy stuff I'd use/eat. I feel like I did pretty well :).

Day 15.2.2017 (day 46)

All my photos of Nantes are here.

Part 1 of our trip is here, and part 2 is here.