Beach Life


Maurice had an appointment in Bordeaux, which is about 1 1/2 hours from us. Afterwards we decided to drive the 45 minutes to the beautiful village of Saint Emilion right in the middle of Bordeaux wine country. I quickly googled for places to eat there and it was easy to find a restaurant as Saint Emilion is packed with them. We went to the Logis de la Cadene which turned out to be very good. It was one of those classy places with waiters in white shirts and black jackets who were very attentive and the interior was wonderful. All the tables on the terrace were booked but we got a table inside easily. We got the menu (starter, main plate, dessert) and I had doubts about the starter, a carpaccio of fish (as in raw) but it was marinated in lemon juice and topped with all sorts of yummy things and it was so delicious. Then we had very tender beef and a lovely little lemon meringue tart. We had to have a glass of St Emilion wine being in the region. I know very little about Bordeaux wine and I find it a bit strong but maybe I will learn. To tell the truth, I prefer rosé something wine experts look down upon.

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The pretty terrace with a giant vine growing in the corner.

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The church above the village. It is a very steep walk to the bottom. I saw many people hobbling down the main street over the stone street which I imagine must be very slick when it rains.

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It’s packed with shops selling Bordeaux wine like this one.

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An ancient gate into the village.

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I love this corner shop.

We have made friends with a very nice French couple who, this is such a plus for me, love to speak English. He is a font of information about the area and they are always out exploring. He told us about the coast area north of la Rochelle so once nice, sunny day, Maurice and I set out to explore it.

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We could see the bridge that crosses to Île de Ré and the coast of the island itself.

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Saw this place just covered with junk, even a decorated Christmas tree.

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This sign was in front. It wasn’t open but maybe it was a shop.

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We crossed a bridge over this water running into the ocean as it was low tide-as you can see by the grounded boats-which wouldn’t be visible once high tide arrived. These extremes of tides are what make this such a good oyster farming area.

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We were too early for lunch but this place is on my list to try sometime. It just looked classy.

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We ate instead at a place with this view which had good food but really slow service which didn’t matter as we had no place to be.

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It was time for the full moon which I missed that night but when I got up early the next morning, as is my wont, and it was still dark, I got to see it setting although not to totally into the sea as a marine layer hid it.

The city of la Rochelle isn’t far from our beach place. It’s a really beautiful city full of gorgeous architecture. I was there one day last week and it was a pleasure to walk around.

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There are several buildings there with this sort of siding.

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There is a bistro there with this lovely belle epoque interior.

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The ceiling. I posted some photos from this place a year or so ago.

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There was one of those people with two strings attached to two sticks making enormous bubbles.

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There is a husband wife team who used to do a show with five or six cats and some mice but they are now down to two cats and six dogs. They, the animals, aren’t extremely well trained but they do pretty good. This poodle did her thing with the two doves. I have to say, if you can tell these things, that the dog didn’t look too happy. Maybe the other cats rebelled, and being French, went on strike. You could see, though, that the lady really loved them and they her.

Fort Boyard is a very popular TV show that started in France and now has been done in thirty other countries. I don’t watch it as I don’t like reality type shows where people have to be in a container with snakes or bugs. The Fort where it takes place is not far from oue beach place. There are all sorts of boat tours taking people out to see it and I think there will one day even be tours of the inside. It was built between Île Oleron and Île d’Aix to keep out the English who raided France at this point many times. It was finished at the end of the 1800’s, then abandoned until it became a listed bulding and then the TV show really put it on the map.

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We rented a boat one day and one of the things we did was circle the fort. We were one boat among many-it was a nautical Eiffel Tower experience.

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Getting closer.

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One of the boats as we circled.

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The bst photo that I got on the bobbing boat. It was a fun thing to do.

Every August in a little village near us called les Boucheleurs, there is a big fete with all sorts of things for sale like locally made salt and Pineau, a local drink. They also serve moules, or mussels, and we go for that.

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Moules are always eaten with frites, or French fries. It’s a good combo.

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A huge covered area was set up with tables by the harbor.

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The remains.

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This little dog had been under the table while we ate and popped up to check out everything.

A few things here and there that I photographed in our village, Chatelaillon.

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I see people carrying these all of the time. They go out to the water when the tide is way out and run the net through the water. I’ve never seen what they catch but I think it’s either small shrimp or fish.

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A pretty glass canopy over an empty house with the roses growing wild.

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I love the architecture found in our area. Note the blue sky too!

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I love looking through open doors and windows. Luckilly, I didn’t see anyone in their underwear.

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