La Rochelle advice


(Nancy Steinhardt) #1

Bonjour à tous,


My husband and I will be moving to the Charent Maritime dept next year. We are both Americans, living in San Jose, California. We're thinking of La Rochelle. I have never been to this area, but it was recommended to me because of bicycling (which I love to do) and it's near beaches. Plus it was described as a quiet, yet lively town especially on weekends.

I have been taking French classes for several years and hope to improve so that I can immerse myself in some other types of fun classes in La Rochelle. I thought that might be a good way to meet people and improve my language skills.


I would love to hear what you all think of La Rochelle; and if you are aware of fun, creative classes for adults (art, cooking, etc) in that vicinity. We will not have a car, and we are both retired.



(Nancy Steinhardt) #2

Thanks so much for your sharing your view, John. It is very appreciated.

It's always great to hears the pros and cons and I'm happy to hear that public transport in town is good.

I guess I'm not surprised that property prices are more expensive, altho I wish it wasn't so. I think that can happen with areas that are popular (for whatever reason).

Again, thanks so much for replying. I hope others will also join in and share their views.


(John Brian) #3

I love La Rochelle and spend quite a bit of time there as I sail from the Port des Minimes marina. Many people think that it is a summer only only holiday town but it is so much more than that with excellent shops and services. The Vieux Port and town centre are beautiful and there are numerous restaurants, museums and other attractions to enjoy. The aquarium is excellent. The public transport infrastructure in the town is very good. There are plenty of opportunities for walking and cycling with good access to the coastal paths. Then there’s the sea with the boats, beaches and islands.
The downsides, from my point of view, are that property is much more expensive there than elsewhere in the region, the countryside inland from the coast tends to be a bit bland and summer temperatures, due to its coastal position, are usually a bit cooler than inland. On the bright side, the winters tend to be that much milder.


(Nancy Steinhardt) #4

Sounds wonderful! I look forward to having these experiences!

Thanks so much for sharing!


(Marie-Antoinette Keeran) #5

The pressoir is a grape press in our area, in Normandie a pressoir would be an apple press .

Where we are located wine is made and distilled to make cognac and I understand that it was a strange word for you I should have explained it.

Today with a former classmate of my husband and his wife we did the vendange we picked up the grapes and cut them from the vines and filled our buckets and dumped them in a big traillor attached to a tractor we participated in the vendange big meal afterwards and big drinking it was all fun, but hard work bending over the plants.


(Nancy Steinhardt) #6

Hi Marie-Antoinette,

I totally understand! What a wonderful experience to go to a wedding in Morocco! You sure do sound like adventurers!

I have no idea what this means "... we found our old pressoir and we fell in love with it...". Because, I have no idea what a pressoir is... Sorry! But I am glad you found it and love it.

Amities,

Nancy


(Marie-Antoinette Keeran) #7

Hello Nancy, sorry for the delay in my response, we left September 4th for a wedding in Marrakech and came back yesterday in the wee hour of the morning.

We chose Charente Maritime because one of my brother had a vacation home in Talmont sur Gironde and I would come vacationed there with my children and grand children and when he passed away and the house was sold, just a year before we retired, we rented a house near by for two months in 2006 and looked for a house to buy we found our old pressoir and we fell in love with it, went back to Illinois and sold our house and moved here in July 2007. We like the view on the estuary.

Amitiés.

Marie-Antoinette


(Nancy Steinhardt) #8

Hello Marie-Antoinette,

Merci for your reply! How interesting that your grandkids are so close to where we live! Small world! :)

May I ask why you chose to live in the Charente Maritime area? I am trying to learn as much as I can about that area, so your personal experiences are helpful to me.

Warm regards,

Nancy


(Marie-Antoinette Keeran) #9

Hello Nancy,

My husband and I live about one hour from La Rochelle, we are in Charente Maritime, we are in a small municipality formed with 2 villages and several little "bourgs", we have a view on the Gironde estuary, we see cargo, sail boats, fisher men, cruise ships passing by every day on their way to Bordeaux.

We have been here since July 2007 and we love it, we go from time to time to La Rochelle, the harbor is lovely there is an old German submarine base left from WWII, it has been used for at least a couple of American movies.

My husband has dual citizenship US and French he is from Illinois, Bloomington, I am French I have lived in the US 43 years all of them in Bloomington, I go back to the US every years some times twice a year to visit the children and grandchildren, I have a grandson who started this year at the University of California, San Jose and I have two granddaughters in Santa Cruz, not very far from you I think .

I think La Rochelle is a great choice for a place to move to.

Marie-Antoinette