I have been to this village, Talmont-sur-Gironde, a little over an hour away several times. Right now the hollyhocks have started blooming-my favorites along with roses in June-and Talmont has hollyhocks all over their streets so I talked Maurice into going with me early Sunday morning to beat the crowds and the heat. We were almost the only ones there when we arrived. No shops or restaurants were open, most with signs saying they didn’t open until June 15th, plus it was Sunday when many places are closed. So we roamed around a bit, went into the little church and I took photos and we were back home before lunch.

Here’s the church overlooking the Gironde river which is extremely wide here as it empties into the ocean a little bit further on.

The back of the church.

As anticipated, hollyhocks. They were still fresh and newly opened.

The village is surrounded on three sides by water as you can see here. Those are little fishing cabins in the distance. They are everywhere around here.

A close up of one of the fishing cabins, called a carrelet.

 There were roses too as you can see.

More roses.

A close up of a hollyhock, the summer gift of France.

This and That in Alsace

I took a lot of photos while in Alsace so, since I have them, I will share some. Alsace is very photogenic.

img_2540 Almost every building in the villages we visited were decorated for Christmas. We did the southern half of what they call the Alasian Wine Trail and each place was special. We were there a week before all of the Christmas markets officially opened and there were still many tourists.

img_2565 I guess this is sort of a rood screen. I thought it was very unusual, unlike many churches. The church was in Kayserville.

img_2567 Alsatian costumes. I saw these models everywhere. The women used to wear a sort of giant black bow on their heads. I never did see one in person.

img_2570 Another Christmas decoration. December 6th, Saint Nicolas Day, is huge in Alsace, which is what this figure represents. Gifts are given then and there are processions. I wish we could have seen it.

img_2574 Just loved the architecture. Where are Hansel and Gretel?

img_2581I liked the clock and the little tower.

img_2584 They are not afraid to use color in Alsace.

img_2586 There is a huge musical tradition in the village of Ribeauville and a famous festival every September.

img_2585 A free book exchange. I loved this display.


There is a smaller island thirty minutes by ferry from Ibiza called Fomentera. It’s rather rustic and said to be how Ibiza was fifty years ago. Ibiza is, in fact, starting to become very wealthy and on its way to becoming a Saint Tropez.

img_1684 A view of a small beach as we walked to it.

img_1690 Look at that water.

img_1697 Another lighthouse. It was at the very end of the island, very isolated.

img_1702 A lookout tower, used as protection by the inhabitants when those pesky pirates arrived. There were also some palaeolithic ruins nearby.

img_1703 The churches were also used as protection-no windows to break and climb through.

img_1705 And yet another lighthouse. Note the desert vegetation. Some areas have pine tree forests, but most are desert.

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.


And More

A few more things we saw on our trip:

fullsizerender1-copy-9 While in Saint Malo we made a bus trip to nearby Cancale, a little oyster village. The village itself was divided in two with the harbor being way down below the hill and the rest up on top.

img_14571 They are known for their oyster production here and you can even buy a few and they will open then for you, put them on a plate and you can sit on a wall and eat them. Not my sort of thing but there were many doing so.

img_14601 There were basically three parallel streets at the harbor level. The one fronting the harbor had nothing but restaurants. We ate at one. Maurice had a starter of oysters from the region and said they were incredible. We then took a little tourist train because it was a long walk back up to the top and it was very hot.

img_14691 There wasn’t much to see up at top but I did like the church that we went into as we had some time to kill before our bus back to Saint Malo arrived. As is often the case, there was a nautical theme inside.

fullsizerender1-copy-10  And a tribute to those who died at sea.

img_14991 On the way back home we stopped at a village called Dol de Bretagne. It had some interesting half timbered buildings and this menhir placed in a field by man centuries ago. These type of things are all over Brittany (as in Carnac) and you wonder what beliefs led to the incredible amount of labor to put them where they are.