La Rochelle Tower Climbing Day 2013

My French classes lasted all morning every weekday for the two weeks we were in La Rochelle, but at around 12:30 I would meet David for lunch, then we’d do the tourist thing for a few hours. On one of our early days in town, we spent an afternoon climbing all three of the famous towers.

Starting up the first tower.

La Rochelle
La Rochelle

First bit of interior stairway. Note the worn stairs about half-way up this flight. That took a few feet to wear down stone!

View from Tour Saint-Nicolas
View from Tour Saint-Nicolas

View from most of the way up Tour Saint-Nicolas.You can see Tour de la Chaine just across the narrow part of the port and in the distance Tour de la Lanterne, which had been both a prison and a lighthouse.

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One of the super tiny, winding staircases in Tour de la Lanterne, definitely NOT sized for MY giant feet! This tower is loaded inside and out with 18th century graffiti carved into the soft stone by the prisoners. Hm. Prisoners with carving tools. Is this a good idea? Sounds terrible, but the graffiti is actually interesting and some is pretty impressive. Lots of ships, names and dates from the distant past carved into the walls.

A bit of 18th century graffiti from a prisoner in Tour de la Lanterne.
A bit of 18th century graffiti from a prisoner in Tour de la Lanterne.
The smaller of the two main beaches of La Rochelle
The smaller of the two main beaches of La Rochelle

Here’s a better view of the beach closest to our house, from atop Tour de la Lanterne. The tide varies significantly from high to low so boaters must be aware and stay in the marked channel or be prepared to be stuck until high tide returns.

La Rochelle from on high
La Rochelle from on high

View of La Rochelle from atop Tour de la Lanterne. Note the two towers (Tour de la Chaine and Tour Saint-Nicolas) on the right and the Ferris wheel (La Grand Roue) to the right and a bit behind the two towers. All are excellent places to rendez-vous with David after my morning of French classes, because my bus stops near all of them, but mostly because they stick up high enough for David to find them as he’s walking from the house, not so challenging now, but the first few days he was a bit lost in all the old winding streets.

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