After the conference we wanted to head to Spain so we headed over to Bordeaux to make our way down. There were vineyards galore on the train ride there. We thought of going on a wine tour but didn’t get around to it.
The city had a nice set of stores and cafes along the river and we spent our day walking, shopping, and talking. We didn’t see any tourist attractions the whole time we were there but we did buy a bottle of Bordeaux to celebrate the French Bastille Day. Instead we ended up going to bed early and missing the fireworks.
The next day when I asked for tickets to San Sebastian, the woman at the train station issued us tickets to San Sebastian, France instead of San Sebastian, Spain, which I didn’t even know existed. It was a stop along the way at Limoges when I realized we were going North instead of South. So, we got off the train to sort everything out and it turned out that there were no tickets to Spain with such sort notice, and just few tickets left to get back to Paris to boot. I told the woman we just wanted to go to the beach so she arranged tickets to La Rochelle (and then tickets back to Paris afterwards.)
After lunch we hopped on the train and ended up in the seaside city of La Rochelle. The walk from the train station to the hotel was awesome! We went to the welcome center and learned that there was an aquarium and a beach nearby. The rest of the walk was through cute shops and winding roads by the sea. Once we arrived at the hotel, with our luck, my friend’s phone was nowhere to be found. Now we both were relying on the robot alarm clock!
That didn’t stop us from having a blast. There was a summer art festival in town, so there was lots of wandering and browsing. We also made it to the aquarium, and we even found an animatronics museum (Musée des Automates) that ended up being further out than we thought. What a strange place with hundreds of creepy moving dolls. The inside of the museum was fashioned to look like the streets of Paris, and they actually did a really good job. But, I think there was only one other set of patrons that visited the museum while we were later.
We also made it out the beach, but the weather was bitter and cold and it started raining. That didn’t stop a nearby group of boys from going swimming but I wasn’t up for it. I certainly recommend a visit to La Rochelle!
** Note: i just linked these pictures from google, as I didn’t have any way to take pictures on this trip.