Yesterday (Saturday) we decided to venture a bit further afield, so grabbed the camera, walked to the train station, and bought an aller-retour ticket to Rochefort for the day.
The ticket allowed us to get on the next train stopping there and choose any train we wanted coming back, which was perfect, since we didn’t know how long we’d want to stay.
Rochefort turned out to be quiet and pretty, and practically deserted.
We weren’t really in a museum mood, so had lunch in Place Colbert, then walked over the find the replica of the ship Hermione, one of the main attractions of Rochefort.
The original Hermione was used by the Marquis de Lafayette in 1780 to head over to America to help the Americans with the revolution. The replica took twenty years to build, using only the methods in use at the time of the original, but someone is apparently confident she’s seaworthy. They’re scheduled to sail to the Americas in 2015. Um, okay. You go ahead without me.
Loved the peaceful parks, and the palm-tree-lined, clean, quiet streets, but after a bit more wandering we decided to catch the 20-minute train back to La Rochelle and see what was happening around Cours des Dames, our favorite people-watching spot.
As it turned out, plenty was happening, some of it neither quiet nor pretty:
There were four or five others just like this guy, including a couple of kids, strolling around Cours des Dames, posing for photos and passing out flyers for some event to which apparently I was not invited, since they did not give me a flyer. I think I’ll get over it.
Too big a crowd to get photos when some dancers had the music playing and were going all-out, but when we walked by later during a break and I pulled out my camera, a couple of the guys did a few tricks for me:
Came across Renoir, I mean this guy, on the way home:
And a bit further on, this cheerful couple:
So no, La Rochelle is definitely not as quiet, and maybe the people aren’t always exactly, well, normal. But it sure felt great to step off the train and stroll along the familiar streets toward the bustling centre ville. It felt, actually, kind of like home.