Thursday, 12 January 2017

La Rochelle - one of my favourite ports

In the few hours we spent in La Rochelle, it had presented us with just the right mix of culture and history, with its beautiful arcaded streets and very walkable waterfront - even its graffiti (that it even had them!) seemed to be in the right place.  

Known as "La Ville Blanche" (the White City), La Rochelle was apparently one of the most important ports in France during the Renaissance and its architecture showed this rich past.  What made it most pleasant to walk around was that most of the old town was traffic free. 

We started at the waterfront and came across some workers actually starting work on painting some "official" graffiti alongside some existing ones.  The art was quite remarkable and in stark contrast to the grand arcades and white limestone of the old town just a few blocks away.  We walked through the old town arcades to the Cathedral, checking out the old market and the cloisters of the White Nuns and several historic sites before ending up back in the port. 

I was able to get a few good shots because the white stone in the town was so photogenic.  Overall, it was a very satisfactory day and particularly pleasant to wrap it up with a really nice snack of crêpe flambé at the historic Café de la Paix - roughly the same vintage as the more famous one of the same name in Paris.  It was the hangout of the likes of Georges Simenon, the famous creator of the detective Maigret.  What a treat to sit down in this belle epoque cafe and imagine oneself surrounded by its original patrons - shades of "Midnight in Paris"...

The waterfront
The two towers, Tour Saint-Nicolas and Tour de la Chaine, flanked the entrance to the Vieux Port
Came across this intriguing shoot in the harbour, then even more intriguing, graffiti in this classy town!
Look how the recycling and garbage bins were camouflaged with graffiti


The entrance to the old town is through the arch under the Great Clock
The Cathedral and its beautiful carved pulpit balustrade

The courtyard of the "Maison Henri II", a gorgeous renaissance building from the 16th century

Splendid arcaded streets of all shapes and sizes

The cloister of the Dames Blanches (the White Nuns)

Stunning Café de la Paix where we sat down for this crêpe flambé

Beautiful carved statue on some random door

The 19th century covered Central Market

Fancy downspout!
What a spread!
Love this!

I have to include this image as I must have spent at least 15 minutes here waiting for the right number of people to walk on the bridge so I can get an interesting reflection...;-)

The lighthouse

The new town

L'Eglise Saint-Sauveur

Moving on to Bordeaux - sunset at sea

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