Back at the Beach


 We have arrived at our beach place ready to see what summer has in store for us.

We arrived at the la Rochelle train station which looks very castle like. Our trip is a little over three hours from Paris.

Our very first night I ran out to the beach to get some photos as the sun set. I love the sun shining through the beach fence.

The sunset through the fence.

And, finally, the sunset. They usually aren’t this spectacular in the Spring as I recall. There is no filter with this photo either, this is just how it looked, filling our living room with scarlet light.

Exploring the Island

We drove around the island of Ibiza and saw some gorgeous scenery.

img_1649 We chanced upon a neat little restaurant while driving called Giri. It had an incredible garden with seating everywhere.

img_1655 I always stop for lighthouses.

img_1657 A small beach.

img_1668 Look at that view!

img_1669 I liked this sculpture against the ocean and horizon.

img_1673 Local church. Most have no windows as they were used as forts for protection from the many pirate invasions.

img_1667 Another view.

 

Saint Malo

The reason we went to Saint Malo was because of a nice man who worked at the desk of the Hotel Oceania in Nantes who told us how great their hotel was in Saint Malo with a fabulous view on the water. Years ago we visited Mont St Michele, right across the border in Normandy but didn’t take the time to visit Saint Malo. It’s been on my list ever since so when we heard that we decided to make a trip to visit.

fullsizerender1-copy-8 Mont St Michelle.

img_14941 The fabulous view of the beach from our hotel room.

fullsizerender1-copy-7 The view at high tide. The island which can only be accessed at low tide has the tomb of Chateaubriand, a very interesting man born in Saint Malo. Do a Google search on him. He had a fascinating life involved in many political happenings in France including the French Revolution where he got himself in trouble by criticizing what was going on and went to the States for his safety. While there visiting Niagara Falls, he fell and broke his arm and was nursed to health for a month by a Native American tribe which he wrote about. That is just one event in his life. The popular beef dish is said to be named after him. I like it-very tasty.

fullsizerender2-copy One of the city gates leading into the walled city of Saint Malo.

img_14271 One of many narrow, cobbled streets inside the walls.

img_14411

You can see how wide the ramparts that circle the city are. 80% of them were destroyed in WWII by American bombers as they tried to get the last of the Germans to surrender. In fact, two inhabitants of Saint Malo got out (all inhabitants were locked into the old city) and told the Americans there were only 70 Germans left inside but weren’t believed.

img_14481 View from the rampart.

 

Oysters


Brittany is known for its oysters. They are farmed near where we live, Poitou Charentes, especially Ile Oleron which produces the most in France, but Brittany has an ancient history involving them. Something lead me to a book called The Oysters of Locmariaquer by Elinor Clark. It was written in the 60’s and is not up to date with what is going on now but it gives a look at a tiny village, Locmariaquer, which was the heart of oyster production then and especially the history of oysters and how man was able to start farming them. Reading this book I was amazed that oysters were able to propagate at all. It’s a miracle really as is all birth. Another amazing fact is that the huge production of oysters was started in France by Napoleon III and a scientist in an effort to have inexpensive food for the poor. Anyway, I wanted to see this village and so Maurice and I went out of our way and as we drove there. I had memories of going to the Ile of Skye in Scotland after reading a book set there and being disappointed when we finally arrived as it is a very stark island and known for hiking which we weren’t equipped to do (this was with my ex) and I ordered a dish called Steak Mince which sort of horrified me when it was placed before me as it looked like dog food on top of mashed potatoes. I was afraid Locmariaquer would disappoint too but it turn out to be charming although the day was gray and misty. Mostly I took photos at the beach.

img_13881 As you can see the tide was out.

img_13921 Seen on a shutter.

fullsizerender2 A path along the beach.

img_13971 A beach fence.

img_13981 We made a stop near Carnac to see these mysterious stones set up in long lines that went on for miles. No one knows what they were for. Religious reasons, moon tracking, when to farm?

img_14021 Another view.

This and That at the Beach

Some places and things seen around here at the beach.

IMG_1161[1] A God’s Eye sunset.

IMG_1252[1] A very heavily decorated house near us. Shells and driftwood figures all of the place but I liked it.

IMG_1170[1] Sunrise, beach fence, sand and water.

IMG_1187[1] I bought a bouquet of these roses at our market. They may be what is call Japanese roses, I’m not sure.

IMG_1256[1] A cocktail on the terrace as the sun goes down.

IMG_1260[1] Some fruity ice tea at a new tea and coffee place on rue de Marche. Not enough ice-there never is in France-but very refreshing.

Birds and the Beach

Some photos I’ve taken as I do my walk on the strand along the beach.

IMG_0669[1]
There is a little seasonal café on the beach with umbrellas and loungers for, I’m sure, a fee. I think I went a little overboard with the filters on this photo.

FullSizeRender[1] - Copy
A typical view although it varies all of the time depending on if the tide is in or out. When it goes out, it goes way out which is why it’s an oyster producing area.

FullSizeRender[1] - Copy (3)
I think these are seagulls. They almost always face in the same direction (always north) in the mornings, sort of like cows. I don’t think they do that cud thing. Maybe they are just napping. They follow the water out as low tide begins, eating small fish and shrimp I think. I see them floating in the water way out before the tide comes in. At noon or so they circle high above us. This is August so they may just be disturbed by the many people on the beach. I’ve become an observer of nature just like scientists once did before computers and books.

IMG_0677[1]
I’m always trying to get photos of birds in flight but am usually not close enough. These birds (seen all facing the same direction earlier)were madly eating what looked like bread and only took off when I got near. They are flying away from me but I still like seeing their flight captured in midair.