Two movies and a bridge over the River Loire


We left Herbignac on a main road to Saint-Nazaire but there wasn’t much traffic. We turned off and wound through the strip developments of coastal resorts bound for Saint-Marc-sur-Mer, also known as M. Hulot’s beach. It was fun to see the location from the film. Although much has changed some landmarks are still identifiable and there are information boards explaining, amongst other things, the temporary changes that were made for the film. There is a larger-than-life-sized statue of M. Hulot overlooking the beach.

Another famous film of a different kind (Das Boot) came to mind when we arrived in Saint-Nazaire and spotted the German U-boat pens from WW2. They are massive and brutal. Having sustained no significant damage during the war despite the allies’ best efforts, since then they’ve been judged too expensive to demolish – no surprise when you see them. With almost all signs of the 20th century wars gone in Europe the pens are a grim reminder of recent history. While bombs couldn’t scratch them, concrete cancer is taking its toll but it looks like these bunkers could well last 1000 years.

Our researches had left us in some doubt as to whether we would be allowed to cycle across the spectacular 3 km long Saint-Nazaire bridge over the Loire estuary. We can now report that bicycles are allowed and we did cycle it. It’s quite a long haul up to the summit of the bridge and the wind was a bit gusty but the bicycle lane is sufficiently wide and the 70 km/h traffic was leaving reasonable clearance. However, if the wind had been much stronger we might have been walking.

As we approached the bridge we passed through the charred remains of a barrier that we think had been erected by bolshie dairy farmers protesting the low price they are getting for their milk. Sounds familiar.

The weather seems to have changed with our crossing of the Loire. It’s been quite summery this afternoon and we’re starting to contemplate Atlantic swims. We might break out lighter weight clothing tomorrow.

Most of the afternoon has been spent cycling by the coast with sandy beaches, resorts to the picturesque port at Pornic.

One Response to “Two movies and a bridge over the River Loire”

  1. parksidestories Says:

    wow, that bridge is really something!

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