La Rochelle is a very walkable city–which is fortunate for us, since we don’t have a car here–so we go everywhere à pied (on foot).
David, especially, is getting very comfortable with les petite rues (the tiny streets), since he walks quite a bit while waiting for me to finish class. I admit to taking the bus to school in the morning, because the sun is not even up at 7:45 a.m. and it would be a chilly 45-minute walk. (You can put away the wimp-meter–I know.) David, on the other hand, now meets me at school, after having walked all the way, plus some meandering for purely exploratory purposes .
This charming bit of history is not even a major park, just a refreshing bit of green space we encounter when we walk home sometimes. We take different routes on different days, some more green that others, but even the centre-ville routes have les petit jardins here and there.
If you read the Reconnaissance Mission posts (specifically Il y a du Soleil), you may remember the artist with the origami. This is the mini-park where he attempted to keep his artwork upright last year. No artist there at the moment. This photo was taken this past Sunday–through the bars. Apparently this gem of a garden is private.
One of the great things about La Rochelle is that there are loads of sidewalks that are covered with beautiful stonework arcades (pronounce ar-cahd, even when plural). This one happens to be empty of people because all the shops are closed on Sundays.
Super brilliant idea, les arcades, because no umbrella is needed, and when the streets get crowded, les parapluies can be a bit awkward to negotiate. David tends to think I’m about to put his eye out (likely true). Consequently, j‘adore les arcades. But amidst all the stone, flowers are very welcome, like this glowing jewel of a tulip I eventually noticed blooming in a little strip of soil next to the bus station.
I’d hurried by it daily for a week, oblivious, until the day I had my camera in hand, which slowed me down considerably. All kinds of details sprang to life. I’ve been told that life takes on a whole new dimension when you try to draw, paint or photograph it, and I’m finding it true. As Vivian Swift* says, “See as much of life as possible, but take time to notice it too.” (And keep your art supplies handy!)
*See the Quotes page for more from Vivian Swift and others.