Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One delightfull day in La Rochelle

The British navigator took us to our friend's house front door; and we recognized immediately, because they showed it to us in Google earth. We knocked couple of times, Aldo barked, our friend opened the patio door and, voila! We entered this beautiful world.

After we were settled down in their beautiful guess cottage, we joined her for some aperitifs; cold peneau (aperitif drink served cold), nuts, olives and olive cake. Aldo brought Jim his favorite toy to play with Jim.

Our hostess, Chantal is a great French teacher, she has great patient to talk to me and to teach me the concept of the words, so we can communicate better. So while Jim and Aldo had fun with the elastic rope, we chatted and sipped cold peneau.

Then we moved to the dinning room to have a five course supper that Chantal made from scratch. While we ate we found out she used to own a restaurant in the water front and she was the chef.

Cute fire place in the kitchen
Home-made tart aux prunes 
Bisous nez (kiss in the nose) from Aldo, before bed
Next morning, Chantal drove us around town, just to show us where to take the bus and the reference points. Then we hop-up in the route number 1 and I asked the driver to please let us know when we were at "La porte de la Grosse-Horloge" (the door of the big clock). He was, as all the French people we have met, very nice and helpful.

Patisserie at the Grosse-Horloge
Architecture in La Rochelle
 It was Saturday morning and it seams to be international, but everywhere we have been, including Cuba, that is the day the farmers come to the city with their great produce.
The market
On Saturdays the stands are even on the streets 
Beautiful seafood from the Atlantic

Merlusa (hake), one of my favorite fish growing up
Different seafood salads
Squid, Yum!
Chocolatier Artesanal
Dried flower, they can last for 2 years
You can tell we are seafood lover, but generally we love food and specially markets, it is such a great entertainment. We get to talk to the locals and the sellers. It's a good way of learning about other cultures and to appreciate the good food. Generally every body was so kind and they were very happy to know we came from the US. We ate our way through the market. There was a stand for everything: poultrycharcuterie (pressed meats), cheese, wines, oysters, olives; you name it. We stopped, looked, bought, and ate it there. Then we went to the park on the water front to have a dessert pick-nick.

Chocolate (The actual product did not make it to the picture)
Sparkling traditional wine from La Rochelle
With a little more energy we headed back to the town, there was a film festival going on, with free entrance and the town was packed. We just did some sight seeing and of course people watching, everybody was so dressed up, it made the city look more picturesque.

Channel entrance at low tide, there use to be a chain that went across
to avoid the entrance of enemies to the channel. 

Amazing low tides, locks stay closed until high tide
Mullet fish at the other side of the lock, also waiting for the tide 

Harbor towers
Then we ran into this building, and we could not help it we had to go inside.

In the way to the bus station, we stopped at the zoo in the park La Palmyre.

Back home we had another incredible dinner waiting for us. We insisted in going out for dinner, but how to resist the kindness and despise her effort. Over the dinner we talked about all the places we visited and Chantal told us a little bit of the history of them. She recommended us to go to visit another interesting place next day.