La Rochelle is on the Atlantic coast of France, in the Bay of Biscay. It’s been around since the 9th or 10th century and has always been an important trading port.
The objective of this part of the trip was to have a look around the town, cycle round the Ile de Ré, visit the famous WW2 German submarine pens and to do some cycling up and down the coast.
The harbour area of the town is very pretty, very French and very old. It’s also stuffed full of tourists and yachts – I’ve never seen so many – millions and millions of euros worth of boats.
It’s probably clear from the photo that I was traumatised from cycling over that sodding bridge in a gale. The ride back wasn’t quite as grim, only because the wind was with us. As compensation, I later had 2 boules of my new favourite thing in the whole world: salted caramel ice cream.
Next day we cycled south but gave up after an hour as the wind was difficult and the countryside wasn’t very attractive. Although La Rochelle itself is stunning, it’s surroundings are a bit industrial and generally unlovely.
Fought our way back to La Rochelle against the wind and headed to the Tourist Office to find out about visiting the submarine pens. I was told: ‘Zey er nut upin’. ‘But why?’ ‘Zeh urmee steel yews erm’. ‘Not open at all then?” ‘Ner, nivair’.
Instead, we spent the rest of the day eating patisseries and salted caramel ice cream.
The next morning the weather had changed and we left La Rochelle to it’s grey Atlantic, the cold and the rain. Glad to go – too much like Scotland 🙂
Next stop Orléans.