Have you ever walked somewhere and felt like you were in a different dimension? It happened to me while strolling around the quaint little village of Trentemoult just a few minutes away from Nantes which is the capital of the north-western French region of Pays de la Loire.
Every step I made I felt like I was in a cartoon version of the real Trentemoult, I’m not sure if it was due to the incredible amount and variations of colours that give a nice and lively kick to the little houses, the narrow streets or the fact that a just few meters away there is the river Loire running by which always makes everything look kind of magical (at least to me).
I remember I couldn’t stop thanking our couchsurfing host for having taken us to Trentemoult which, as soon as we walked in, felt like it was going to be the highlight of the time spent in Nantes, and in a way it was.
Like A Fairytale
I don’t want to exaggerate and make Trentemoult look like the best of the attractions (which it isn’t) but this tiny village really captured my attention and I only wished we went there a bit earlier so we had more time to look around before the darkness came. I loved walking around the curving passageways and discovering another house with an even brighter coloured facade, I liked studying the curious details of the wooden doors and windows, the various plants and little gardens by each house, I loved finding bits of street art even if we were in such a small village.
Our couchsurfing host and temporary guide told us that Trentemoult was once a fishing and Cape Horner village and you could still tell it was, not only because of its location on the south bank of the river Loire, but also due to the particular kind of houses built there and the many objects scattered around that recall its past, from fishing nets to small old boats.
A Well Thought Structure
Trentemoult houses have a particular kind of architecture thought especially to survive the frequent Loire river water rises and avoid being completely flooded which I found quite clever indeed. In fact these houses are divided on three floors of which the bottom one is meant to be flooded therefore was used as a cellar and the others were bedrooms, living room and kitchen. I noticed that many houses have external staircases that connect the lower to the upper floors and only after hearing a little bit about their clever architecture I understood why, it would have made easier to access the top floors in case of flooding, genius!
I wish we had the chance to step in one of these colourful houses just to see how they were organized inside, but as I said they aren’t tourist attractions which means people live in them and apparently nowadays they are inhabited mainly by artists.
I would have loved to have spent a few days in one of this houses with bold colours’ facades in the picturesque and charming Trentemoult. It felt one of these places where life goes slowly and there is time to relax away from the city traffic and chaos of Nantes which is still very easy to reach because it is only a short boat ride away. I wouldn’t have minded sitting by the window of the bar by the river to watch the water flowing by, the sunrise and the sunset, and the people going on with their lives – which we did just before getting back to Nantes.
I’m so glad we went to Trentemoult before leaving Nantes, and I would recommend going if you like the idea of having a pleasant stroll and a relaxing walk, in fact this little village makes you feel at ease in the best possible way.