Lonely Planet review
The quirkiest sight in an altogether fairly quirky city has to be Les Machines de l'Île de Nantes. Inside this fantasy world it's perfectly possible to prance around like a maharajah on the back of a 45-tonne mechanical elephant with a secret lounge inside its belly, or voyage on a boat through rough and dangerous oceans where attacks from oversized squid and giant prawns are common. We can only think that Jules Verne would be smiling in his grave if he could see this lot! The team behind Les Machines de l'Île de Nantes are constantly thinking up whacky new ideas and the latest (open summer 2012) is Le Carrousel des Mondes Marines; a 25m high, 22m wide funfair carousel like you've never seen before. In the surrounding waterfront area can be found children's playgrounds, an artificial beach and waterside walkways. Gallery tickets are good for the workshop, where you can watch these fantastical contraptions being built, but there are additional fees for elephant rides and le Carrousel des Mondes Marines.