La Rochelle, France or Wilmington, NC with Older History (way older)

Spent the last five days in La Rochelle on the Atlantic Ocean shoreline of France. This is a city dating to the tenth century and with historical ties to Henry II, the Knights Templar, the Hundred Years War, the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution. There are significant buildings, excellent restaurants, and sandy beaches. A trio of towers stand watch over the old and new harbors, and out in the Atlantic, Ile de Ré, Ile d’Aix, and Ile d’Oléron wait as sentinels to the mainland. I was excited about visiting the area largely because of this interesting history and the potential to walk on the beach. I was unprepared for how much the area would remind me of my hometown, Wilmington, NC. From the smell of the salt marshes to the dunes climbing up from the shoreline, there was plenty to make me homesick.

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Ile d'Aix

La Rochelle

La Rochelle

La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

Ile d'Aix

La Rochelle

Even a classic Chevy truck!
La Rochelle

But lest I actually think I’m back home in the the Southeastern US, La Rochelle and the region of the Charente River assert their French-ness with their historical landmarks that simply can be found nowhere else but Europe.

La Rochelle proper’s Gros Horloge, or Big Clock:
La Rochelle
Walk through the archway underneath the clock to La Rochelle’s shopping area in buildings that date to just this side of the middle ages. Here you’ll find everything from classic French discount shopping at Monoprix to fancy boutiques with artisan items or designer labels.

Her cathedral:
La Rochelle

Two of her three towers that guard the Vieux Port:
La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

St. Sauveur Church:
La Rochelle

My friends in front of La Boussole, the restaurant where I had one of the best meals of my life. Seriously. This calibre of food is rarely found in a small town like my beloved Wilmington. Maybe close, but…this is FRANCE, for Pete’s sake!
La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

Some historical sites on nearby Ile d’Aix:
La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

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Ile d'Aix

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Ile d'Aix

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And on the watery trip between Ile d’Aix and the mainland, homage to Cardinal Richlieu:
La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

Fort Boyard, rising out of the ocean like the man-made island that it is:
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The nearby region’s Romanesque church will certainly NOT be found in the New World!
La Rochelle

La Rochelle

La Rochelle

La Rochelle

What I think is rapeseed growing in the region:
La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

And Betsy tagged along. She had fun, I think. I wonder if the smell of the salt air made her homesick, too?
La Rochelle and Ile d'Aix

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About Sunny

I'm an American with a Spanish heart, and one foot in France. But both feet are in Belgium, along with the rest of me.
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4 Responses to La Rochelle, France or Wilmington, NC with Older History (way older)

  1. Fantastic series of photos Sunny, it looks beautiful, one French port I’ve not visited. Or if I have I don’t remember it!

    • Sunny says:

      Thank you, my friend in Gib! It is spectacular. It’s a good place to just veg out and go to the beach, or if you want history and museums, there are plenty of those, too, including the French museum of Protestantism, thanks to the city’s former position as bastion of reformed theology. We decided to forgo the museum visits this time and enjoy the sunshine.

  2. Peter says:

    Very beautiful pictorial. It’s all a true revelation of what’s in your heart. You just might be one of the special people chosen by God for a specific mission. How cool is that.

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