La Rochelle: myth about musketeers and donkeys in striped pants

In France, we did not plan to go. It was supposed to be July Italy. But you missed tickets, and for a visa it was necessary to go to the neighboring Yekaterinburg. And suddenly – excellent news – now in Perm you can make French visas.

I didn’t want to go to the tourist south, but also to deprive itself. Therefore, they chose the ocean. Not a noisy Biaritz and not a pompous bordeaux, but fresh and light La Rochelle. And, as it turned out, the direction was not lost.

The French are called La Rochelle "Belle Rebelle" – "Beautiful Buntovmer". The city is really beautiful, and throughout its history shows the stubborn temper … like all the cities built on the water, at first it was a small fishing village. Later, it turned into an important city of the Templars who built a spacious and functional port here, where before the XV century the main export goods were wine and salt.

It was here that the first mayor in France appeared, in the XII century. In the era of Renaissance, the city took the ideas of Protestants and supported Huguenov, for which he paid for his independence. The famous duel between the defenders of La Rochelle and the royal troops is described in the novel by Alexander Duma.

After the siege and thirteen months of hunger, the mayor decided to pass La Rochelle and thereby sacrifice its independence and privileges by making the usual French city under the rule of the king. But from the XVII century, thanks to maritime trade, he again comes to life and begins to develop trade connections with New France (Canada).

"Museum of Indians" tells in detail about this period of life of the city. And after the revolution and imperial wars, development freezes … In the twentieth century, attention to the city will return the Second World War, when La Rochelle will become the last liberated city of France. German Commander surrendered only at midnight May 8, 1945.

I did not accidentally tell the city history in such detail. La Rochelle is an open-air museum, where all the epochs are presented: the Middle Ages with Arcade Passages, the Renaissance Age, such as the City Hall, Century XVIII finds in houses of large shipowners.

Bypassing the historic center of the city in the day. We spent three days in it, and the walks did not bored us. Remembering the chaotic buildings of old cities, walking, we always turned out to be in previously not selected places.

What is necessary to see in La Rochelle:

1. Old port. Three towers: sv.Nicholas (St.Nicolas) – the highest, chain (chaine) – the most distant and lamp (Lanterne) – at the same time being a beacon and protective donzhone.

2. Pass, arcade streets. Remind our indoor trading rows, passengers, as in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

3. Church of St.Savior. She was burning, she slept her ocean, now partially renovated. But the sensations from staying in it are indescribable.

4. Maritime Museum. You can go inside the ships of all the masters (but more interesting to go to Rochefort, on the royal shipyard).

Why still go to La Rochelle?

La Rochelle Myth about Musketeers and Delicides in Striped Pants

1. The famous "Fort Boyar", where the shooting of the game of the same name is held, is just a few kilometers away. Get inside you will not be given, as the games go without stopping, but you can make a tour on the boat around, and suddenly you will be lucky, you will see some of the participants in the water.

2. Island re, which can also be reached by boat taxi or on the bridge by car. The island is small, a few kilometers, with salt swamps, oyster plantations and hundreds of bicycle paths. Here you can safely relax, meet donks in the pants (and the donkeys – in striped, and the donks – in the checkered) and try the famous potatoes from the island of re-small, it is possible to grow it only in twelve settlements, and sell only until July 31 of each year. Brought Fleur de Sel as a gift – "Salt flowers", very popular among French secular salt and Vin de Pays Chertainais, local Red Wine (4 euros).

3. Francofolies festival, or "French madness" (my free, but this is no less suitable translation). Open-air concerts, on the square in front of the old port, surrounded by the towers – this year celebrated his thirtieth anniversary. Annually collects the most popular Francophone performers of different years. This year were: Zaz, Christophe Mae, Joyce Jonathan, Julien dore, Stromae, Tal, Grands Corps Malade. Next year, the performance of Johnny Holidea is scheduled. Tickets can be ordered through the Internet in advance and prices, in my opinion, available, from 35 euros.

Apparently, it is a festival advertised to the universal scale in France, the minimum number of places in hotels was explained. Therefore, we were forced to take the train, drive 7 minutes and to be in the fabulously quiet town of Shaveyon Beach. The path from the station to the hotel, judging by the map and Google Maps, was 4 kilometers. Beauty, we thought, also along the ocean. When I turned to one Frenchman to know whether we move the direction correctly, he, hearing the name of the hotel and that we were walking on foot, was horrified (not pictured, but really!!), and said that we do not come there on foot. We thought he was joking, thanked for the advice and continued to move. But in a few minutes, the car stoped next to us. All the same grandfather-French left the dog at home and, saying his wife something like: "These poor things do not reach there," I decided to take us by car. And the French will say the French … The road took on the car exactly three minutes. This is how different nationalities estimate the distance and the time required to overcome it.

Returning to Shatelion. With the weather, we, of course, were lost. Having read on the hot french summer, did not take into account two factors: the ocean and anomalously thunderstorm sky. Therefore, instead of sundresses, we went to sweaters (bought immediately on sale) and scarves in French fashion. But faces tanned 🙂

And local love to go to the market. In the morning, hours from seven, after all it works until eleven. Especially impressive grandmothers. They have a whole ritual – first choose vegetables, fruits, cheeses and local wine for the evening, go to the hairdresser, and then drink a cup of coffee with a girlfriend, all this is accompanied by a dog. Then go to prepare lunch that will start strictly at noon.

Return to such a city want. Just because it is in such a measured pace that the french art de vivre is felt – the art of living.

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