France Day 13
We skipped the dumping at the wine yard as it was complicated again. Instead we started to drive north and made a dumping stop in a village on the way.
Our first stop for the day was Saintes. Parking our seven and a half meter ship at the public parking area was a bit difficult but we managed.
Our first goal was to get a coffee and we we're lucky to find a place that was willing to serve one. The waiter even reassured us that ordering just coffee at noon was fine because the place was “a restaurant and a bar”.
Saintes has an old Roman amphitheater that we had a look at from outside of the fence. It didn't seem worth the 4 EUR per person to see the ruin from a closer perspective. We've seen similar places before.
Close by is the cathedral which wasn't very special but had a very impressive romanesque crypt.
Next we drove towards Rochefort. A very interesting bridge caught our eye from afar so we had to check it out. It's Europe's largest transporter bridge. We didn't know what that is, but apparently it means that the bridge has a gondola that transports people and wagons from one side to the other. Basically a bridge, a ferry and a cable car combined. The bridge is currently under renovation so we could only see it from afar but not use it.
We made a another stop at the supermarket and got us some sweets. They had something shaped like a pyramid. We didn't know what it was but I had to have it just for the weird form. How often do you have the chance to eat something pyramid shaped? It turned out to be chocolaty heaven. Just wonderful.
Rochefort itself has a huge parking area in the center but it was completely full. Maybe there was some event going on. Since we couldn't find a place to park we drove on.
La Rochelle was the next target. I had picked a camp ground in walking distance to the center but when we arrived a sign told us that they were full already. So we had to drive to the next one.
The new place was about 3km from the center, but we wanted to see the town and decided to walk. La Rochelle is a University Town and seems to be very bike friendly. There's also a Bike sharing service. But the app is in French only and it was quite complicated to register. So instead we walking it was.
When we finally arrived at the center we were quite hungry but it was too early for dinner in France. Luckily there was a place advertising “Crêpes non-stop” and it was not a lie. We got a Crêpe and a galette and that gave us the power to explore the city.
We were really glad we had come here. The city around the old harbor with the old towers, small alleyways and little restaurants is beautiful. The whole atmosphere was very nice. We also visited the local cathedral which has some nice windows and ceiling frescos and we even watched a little bit of the evening service just for curiosity.
We then had a beer at a local craft beer bar and used their Wi-Fi to decide where to go for proper dinner. The decision fell on an oyster bar.
We got 6 oysters to share for starters and then ordered their multi course menu. We weren't fully sure what we would get, because French, but were adventurous enough to order without asking (even though the waiter spoke English). What we got was a fish soup, crevettes (large shrimp) and sea snails and a coffee with some cake and yogurt. It was all very good, though Kaddi and I both like the usual escargot better than the sea snails.
The walk back to the RV wasn't to bad either and felt a little faster. Probably because we took a more direct route. We made some use of the camp ground Wi-Fi and finally fell asleep.