La Rochelle

Trip Start Oct 15, 2007
Trip End Jan 12, 2008

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Flag of France  ,
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where to begin!!

We booked our seat reservations in Paris for the train to La Rochelle and the lady serving us said something about train strikes on the 14th. Try 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st ... and no sign of them ending yet!

So we were originally only staying in La Rochelle for 4 nights. Planned relaxation and rest. Ended up staying another 3 not so planned nights as the train strikes meant that none of the trains we were supposed to catch were running.

La Rochelle is "the most beautiful sea side town in France" - and it was. We had sun for the first 4 days which was a treat! It was still REALLY cold though - our fingers nearly snapped off with cold while we were sitting eating our lunch by the water! Very happy with our big warm jackets .. were able to wear just a t-shirt and our jacket and still be toasty!

There aren't any beaches really in the town - you have to catch a bus about 20 minutes away to get to the beaches - its more of a sailing/maritime kind of town. Big marinq with hundreds of sailing boats - only a small number of motor boats. LOTS of seafood restaurants!

The main part of the town had a great pedestrianised section with lots of little boutiques for anything you could possibly want. Lots of chocolatiers!!

We were staying in a studio appartment with a kitchenette so we were able to cook our own meals every night and have muesli with yoghurt in the mornings. Was GREAT for our budget!!

When the train strikes hit their 7th day they got a little better. It went from 90 out of 700 trains running up to 300 of 700 trains running. We had such trouble trying to book seat reservations for the high speed trains we needed to catch as NO ONE at the train station spoke any english. Yay for geekiness, logged onto the babel fish translation site i use at home and typed in a few paragraphs about the train reservations we needed and hit the translate button, wrote it down and then handed it to the service desk. And it worked haha.

We finally got a train out of La Rochelle on 20th November ...
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