Beach Life


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.

When we were on Ile de Ré the last time we went a little further than usual and reached the Baleines Lighthouse and climbed the equivalent of 13 stories to reach the top.

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The lighthouse as we approached.

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The view from below before we headed up.

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Quite a view on this sunny, though windy, day.

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There was a U shaped form in the water below which was once used to catch fish, even as far as thousands of years ago.

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The part of the lighthouse holding the light. I’m not sure if it still in operation.

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Going down. I saw two teenage boys really having a problem with the twisting climb. One was sitting down with his face in his hands weeping and the other had one eye covered with his hand has his mother helped him go up the stairs. I’m guessing vertigo was the problem for both of them.

The island near us, Ile d’Aix, doesn’t allow cars. You see an occasional one, or a business van, but there are no gas stations so you have to have brought enough fuel. The ferry will only hold one vehicle as well. When people who are staying on the island arrive on the ferry, they are pulling suitcases all the way to a hotel or rental house or they use little carts available to load up with their belongings. I saw a lady who I guess was going to be feeding a lot of people wherever she was going, with boxes of what looked like china plates, cups and saucers for twelve. She had a lot of food too. There is a small grocery store on the island along with a boulangerie, but I guess renters bring much of their own food. It’s a small island and you can rent a bike and ride around the island in two hours or so. It’s all flat and there are views of the water as you ride along, pine trees, a few horses in fields and a few places to eat but sometimes when on a road you feel like you are the only people there-Robinson Crusoe on a bike, with a cell phone.

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A view of what is called Baby Beach.

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White horses in a field that we later saw pulling a carriage.

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In the small cemetery.

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In the crypt in the small, charming church. There is a plaque here commerating the death of over 400 priests here left to basically starve to death on boats during the French Revolution.

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Two sleepy horses.

Ars is the name of a village not visited as much as the other villages in Île de Ré but it is charming. It was once very prosperous and has some really lovely buildings left from that time.

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The church there with the unusual steeple to guide sailors.

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The church there has this enormous piece of needle work of Île de Ré.

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Loved this bike in front of a hotel.

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We went into this very nice hotel, the Hotel le Sénéchal, and it looked like a great place. Another lobby that I liked.

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Fresh pink flowers in front of a red chair in the garden.

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Behind the scenes-sheets to iron and fold.

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