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Monday, July 10, 2006

La Rochelle et les SOLDES!

Most of the students from Alliance Française that I know have decided to go to the beach at Biarritz this weekend. Since I only had one weekend in Bordeaux, I chose La Rochelle over Biarritz, and travelled alone.

But it was NOT BAD, not bad at all! In fact, I am really glad I chose La Rochelle, cette ville est tellement très très jolie!!! I arrived La Rochelle about 1pm, approximately 30 minutes late from the original scheduled time, but it was alright. The weather was perfect, not too hot, with occassional cool breeze, and not too crowded. As usual, I headed straight to the Office de Tourisme (OfT) when I arrive in a new town, and got myself a guide for just 20 cents. From the OfT, I found out that there is this Vélos Jaunes, that offers free use of bicycle for the first 2 hours, and subsequent hours for just 1 euro/hour!!! C'est genial!

I didn't start on my tour immediately as my tummy was growling. I found a nice restaurant just by the Quai Duperré (Vieux Port). Well, there wasn't just one, but a whole lot of restaurants there, so I had to randomly choose one, Les Regates, which turned out to be quite good. I ordered Moules Marinères as a starter, and a plat du jour, which was some kind of fish served with Normandie sauce, accompanied by some vegetables and rice. The seafood was really fresh, and portion was also sizeable enough to fill my tummy. While having my lunch, I went through the guide and found recommended walks in town for 1 hour, or 3 hours, which was really helpful.

I started my tour by first going to Vélo Jaunes, and found the process of getting the bike to be fuss-free. Just give them your ID or driving license, fill up a simple form, and you off you go with a bike. No money deposit, ilek. From Vieux Port, I cycled up to Baie de Port Neuf, then across Promenade de Chef de Baie, to Port de Pêche and Port de Commerce de "La Pallice" before heading to city centre, along Parc Charruyer then back to Vieux Port. After approx. 3.5 hours of cycling, I returned the bike and did the city centre tour by foot.

Oooh là là... what did I find?? Arts and crafts market, and rows of shops on summer sale! I know...I know.... I really shouldn't be doing any more shopping, not when my luggage is already up to the max weight limit. So I limited myself to just tinnie winnie little handmade necklace. That was it!!! Really....honestly, that was the only thing I bought! Of course, I uhm, am waiting for my darling to come over next week, so that I can offload some of my stuff for him to bring home, and uhmmm... then I can shop again :P

Ok, back to my trip.... I was yet again caught in another delay when returning from La Rochelle, due to some Rave Party, where lots of youngsters group together for drinking sessions, techno music, and doing other crazy stuff. They happen to be partying right beside the railway track, and the train had to go real slow, to be able to brake on time. Why? Some wasted youngsters may decide to do some stunts on the track, then end up being like those bugs on your car windscreen when you drive late at night. And that slow down thingy caused a delay of 40 minutes, and I only managed my dinner at 10:40pm.

Anyway, the trip had been great, just regretted that I was not able to spend a little bit more time there, so that I could also visit Ile de Ré. Next time perhaps! Here's the photo album specially dedicated to La Rochelle.

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