A day of rest

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La Rochelle is a great place to spend a day. We said goodbye to Loic as he sped off on his unusual front wheel drive recumbent and found a chambre economique in a small hotel.

There is a large market here occupying a hall, market square and several surrounding streets. Everything there looked wonderful. Some unusual things I found were torteau fromager – a savoury cheesecake from La Rochelle and large trays of already roasted beetroot. The poissonieres label all their fish with the species name – good idea.

After this we headed off to La Pallice, the commercial port where German U-boat pens also remain from WW2. Luckily for La Rochelle they do not occupy the centre of town as they do in Saint-Nazaire.

There are thousands of ocean-going yachts in the huge moorings here. After a warm sunny morning storm clouds developed.

We took the electric ferry across the harbour to the mediatheque (as public libraries as now called in France) and made it just in time to shelter from a long heavy rainstorm. There were lots of people in there and keen competition for the comfortable chairs. Ian got gazumped out of his by an old bloke who apparently had priority!

There is a large car-free area in the old city. The streets are narrow and the shopfronts are often arcaded. After razing Brest to liberate it, the allies changed their approach and besieged the other Atlantic ports until VE day. As a result we can enjoy La Rochelle as an example of an old French city. Paris may have been similar before Baron Haussmann re-fashioned it.

The La Rochelle city bike scheme is run by Yelo the local public transport company that also runs the buses and solar-powered ferries. The bikes are shaft-driven.

 

One Response to “A day of rest”

  1. Herman Vandecauter Says:

    La Rochelle very nice, did you try Le Restaurant Bar André the place to be 🙂 Ille de Ré, close by is a fabulous cycle paradise as well.

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