Monday July 8
Made it yesterday night to our Airbnb in La Rochelle hoping that the temperature would be lower than what we lived in Bordeaux. Of course, as Oleron was on the way, we enjoyed the Sunday diner there, please refer to the end of week 4.After a nice walk along the board walk, we deserved a light lunch in the Old Harbor. The tower behind identifies the city.Made it too late after lunch to visit the « Marché couvert » from the second half of the XIX century. La Rochelle is an important harbor. During WW II, the Germans set up a submarine base. Not so long ago it was possible to come close to the walls, due to an ununderstandable paranoïa, it is not possible any more, so we grased in the open parts of the harbor, here the fishing quarters. On the way back home, our attention was caught by a statue impersonating a game.
Can you guess? Ok easy, BaseBall, you got it right. Boucaneers is the name of the team.It was low tide and the boats were sitting in the mud, so as a public service,
I made a futile attempt to create a high tide.To end the day, Susan prepared a light diner.
A bottle of Beaumes de Venise, a superb red Côtes du Rhône, died on the table.
Tuesday July 9
As the temperatures lowered, a bicycle ride was scheduled on l’Ile de Ré.Even though we made it late, they provided us with a pair of well maintained bicycles.The boss convinced us to make an attempt to the « Phare des Baleines », the Whales Lighthouse.
A 30 miles round trip.
We are on our way.A pit stop at a salt production site. And they sell it.This is the sales booth. Pick your choice, pay at the piggy bank. Your honesty is challanged.
1€ a pound and half for coarse salt,
7€ the pound of the high quality « Fleur de Sel ».Around Mid-Way, we decided to stop for a short feeding break. Do not be fooled, the oysters got a pint of local Rosé.
Fatal error, when leaving the table, the legs cried for a shorter ride. We decided to visit le Phares des Baleines (sorry the link is in French) on another occasion.Susan wondered if Vines carried grapes.
Look carefuly, the fruits are small and green, but they are here.
The obvious answer is YES!After returning the bikes, exhausted we crashed for a drink before driving back home in La Rochelle.
Wednesday July 10
Susan enters Postal 2.0, she writes post cards, adds stamps and hands the result to the French counterpart of USPS. Guess what, this old fashion way of communication still works.
Today was a scheduled Museum day. To avoid inner city parking nightmare, the car was parked just outside the heart of La Rochelle and started moving on foot.
A typical Rail Road station built in the second part of the XIX century.After the operative back office, the front entrance.On our way to our first stage, the Musée des Beaux-Arts, we visited the covered market that offers a wide choice of fish, meat and of course cheese.Delicatessen and ready to enjoy catering.And of course locally produced oysters.
After the market stop, hit the walk to the Museum.
Museum closed for major structural repairs. Not advertised anywhere.
Ready to eat my cap in sign of furror.So we visited a substitute option, the Bunker, (sorry it is in French) a German artefact from WW II that offers a superb explaination of the life in La Rochelle at that time.By the end of the afternoon, I spotted my boat in the old harbor. It has my name on it.Here is the proof. BTW, in Hebrew « Saba » means Grand-Pa and this is the way my grand-children call me. Is it a sign?On the way back I discovered a superb Japanese tree that requires heavy maintenance in term of triming.
As I ignore the real name, refering to the mandatory maintenance, I call it a vegetal French Poodle.
Thursday July 11
The last day in La Rochelle, a lazy day, little on the to do list, just a visit to the Musée Maritime. On display live a Weather Station Boat and a Tug Boat. Nothing really visual.Nothing visual worth showing, but worth visiting. Here the tug boat.The city of La Rochelle gathers a superb collection of real sail boats, perfectly maintained in operating condition. A dream.Even though the heat wave is coming to an end, the water fountains offer a welcomed cool moment.
Friday July 12
On our way to the July family reunion, we left La Rochelle for a pilgrimage in a small village on the Atlantic ocean.Susan was wondering why they did not cut the SunFlowers to sell them.
A kind of misunderstanding, the SunFlowers are not to be sold as such but they are farmed to be pressed later to get a healthy cooking and seasoning oil. Another discovery.On the way to Les Moutiers en Retz, we stopped at Le Passage du Gois, an access road to the Ile de Noirmoutiers, submerged most of the time, it is usable only during 2 or 3 hours around low tide.
This is of course a Fake News photo op pretending we escaped to be caught by the tide.After crossing the straight by the bridge, we stopped in Noirmoutiers en l’Ile.
One of the most desired cars, a Mini Moke, caught our attention.Susan’s natural attraction for shopping led her into this beautiful shop.The shop is named Athmosphere. Every time the word « Athmosphere » is heard, the French people refer to a well known scene where a pimp lets his women down.
The final words are about changing Athmosphere, in this case meaning changing partner.
Not subtitled but obviously understandable.The famous Lanterne des Morts in Les Moutiers en Retz. This light house dates back from the XII century and is lit when a resident dies and remains lit until he is burried.
A long time tradition.It is time to cross the river Loire. No bridge but a free ferry.It is time to board for a five minute crossing.Susan’s first ferry trip ever. Let’s celebrate.This will be the focus of the evening spent with my nephew’s family.
Saturday July 13
Made it to our destination at noon time. Violette celebrated our arrival with a Great First, she started her first non bottle meal. Semi success, after the initial try, the bottle was welcome.
Sunday July 14
Susan is in charge of Baby Sitting Violette.In the mean time, the boys are having fun.After lunch and the necessary nap, a walk along the beach.Upon returning home, before a family BBQ, a call to the US.Nineteen people around thee tables. A nice final stop to this week 5.
No more traveling for the next 5 days.