Afternoon in La Rochelle

This post is part of my Living In Montaigu blog series! 

In my most recent post, we visited Ile de Re and had a delicious lunch. Later that afternoon, we made our way to the nearby seaport city of La Rochelle.

Okay… lazy blog post. I’m going to copy and paste from Wikipedia and share a few pictures. Enjoy! Oh, and for any future travelers: La Rochelle and Ile de Re are accessible via the La Rochelle – Ile de Re Airport and the train station Gare de La Rochelle, with connections to Paris, Bordeaux, Nantes and other popular cities.

Per Wikipedia, “The city has beautifully maintained its past architecture,making it one of the most picturesque and historically rich cities on the Atlantic coast. La Rochelle’s main feature is the ‘Vieux Port’ (‘Old Harbour’), which is at the heart of the city, picturesque and lined with seafood restaurants. The city walls are open to an evening promenade. The old town has been well preserved.  The countryside of the surrounding Charente-Maritime is very rural and full of history. To the North is Venise Verte, a marshy area of country, criss-crossed with tiny canals and a popular resort for inland boating.  Inland is the country of Cognac and Pineau. The attractive Île de Ré is accessible via a bridge from La Rochelle.”

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Entrance to the port

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My favorite picture of the port

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Day trip to Île de Ré, a charming French Island

See you later Montaigu! We jumped on the highway and headed south.  We missed our exit. But that’s ok.  Instead, we took the scenic route, admiring the French countryside and detouring through quaint little towns.

Île de Ré is a small island (about 20 miles long) off the coast of Western France next to the seaport city of La Rochelle.  When the girls were younger, the family owned a house here. The island is known for a few things:  its sea salt, potatoes, fresh fish and oysters… and its beaches, ports and bike paths. It is a popular European vacation spot.

We spent the morning on the island, had a wonderful lunch and then visited La Rochelle for the rest of the afternoon.

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We started with a visit to Saint Martin, the main port

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View from the port… the Atlantic Ocean (Bay of Biscay)

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We did some shopping and enjoyed the 60 degree weather.

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Interesting tidbit: Remains of Saint Martin’s citadel and fortifications from the 1600’s can still be seen and are included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There is also an old prison in Saint Martin. In the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s, it held prisoners before they were shipped to the penal colonies in the French Guiana.

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More shopping and making our way up to the church.

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Church of Saint Martin

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It’s a RASTA Donkey!

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Naturally, there are several vineyards on the island.

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Finally, the beach! Time to play and dip my toes into the Atlantic!

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Twick loves the beach!!

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Worked up an appetite for lunch! I enjoyed soupe du poissons (fish soup), a fig, ham and goat cheese crepe and a caramel crepe for dessert.  SO MANY CREPES! I also tried a bite of Olivier’s lunch, tête de veau… aka veal head. Tried it and it was pretty tasty.

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Adorable little restaurant. Sophie and Olivier are actually friends with the owner.

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Loving the funky decor.

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Salted caramel crepe. Fantastic!

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To be continued… Stay tuned for my next post on the rest of our afternoon in La Rochelle. Bisous!

P.S. Two weeks from today, Kyle and I will be checking in to the fabulous Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. Can’t wait!