La Rochelle

La Rochelle Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Baguette Fiiiiiiiiight!!

Flying to La Rochelle was an experience all of it's own, we flew cheap which was great...but not that great once all the taxes had been added to the cost, then very evident when inside the plane, with it's bright orange and white interior it was a bit chlaustrophobic for me which was strange as flying to both Austria and New Zealand didn't provoke any feelings of being a sardine trapped in a can.  I felt a bit ill on the France flight, maybe short haul is just a bit more rocky generally but i was really glad to hear the victory trumpets when we landed!!

The hostel we stayed at in La Rochelle was really good, and huge! (http://www.

hihostels.com/dba/hostels-La-Rochelle-020106.en.htm) I shared my room with 5 of the other girls on the hen trip and the bride, her mum and two sisters had a smaller bunk room next door.  There was a small on-suite shower and sink in our room but no toilet, the toilets were communial just down the hall from us along with a whole load of other showers so we didn't all have to queue and wait all the time which with 10 females not mentioning all the other guests in the hostel you'd think would be tough and inevitable but i didn't have to queue once!  There were a few rough kids in the hostel, i think it also provides a place to stay for troubled youths but they were reasonably well behaved and didn't bother us at all, just a little noisy at night but we weren't much better sometimes.
Mussells!!!! :-D yum yum

The BEST thing i will never forget about La Rochelle was the food, my god the french can cook!  I think i lived off bread, cheese, quiche and Mussells for the entire trip but i was more than happy to, i couldn't get enough of my Moulles Frittes and i was delighted by the French steriotype of people walking the streets armed with baguettes around lunchtime being completely 100% true. 

We had some mixed weather during our stay, the beginning of the week was sunny but not overly warm so we huddled up on the beaches a bit, which La Rochelle isn't short of, we went to the beach every day at some point but didn't visit the same ones more than once...so they have at least 6 different beaches as we spent one day on Il de Re also.  Despite the mixed weather by the end of the week the sun was beaming and it was very warm, i wished i'd brought sunscreen which i foolishly didn't but fortunately one of the other girls had enough to cover a small army, i still got sunburnt after the trip to Il de Re though, the sun there was second to none i've ever seen, was a lovely island.

Dancing with a random local being taught some salsa.

Night life in La Rochelle is varied and extremely fun!  They had everything from Salsa bars to quieter sit in pubs, live music on every corner and your regular club style places too as well as the classier sit on the street sipping wine and watching the other night life go by style places.  We sampled ALOT of different bars while we were there and even as a none drinker i had an amazing time, as a non drinker in england i find alot of our clubs very boring but the decor, friendly feel and confidence of the clientel in La Rochelle made it all a whole lot different, everyone dances with you and no one cares if you're drinking or not, the other girls also didn't feel the need to get paraletic before they felt they'd had a good night which was really really nice.

Part of the docks at a busy hour.
  We met alot of people while we were out in the evenings, some locals but there seemed a running pattern in La Rochelle, alot of the people we met had moved there from other countries or parts of France giving it a more diverse welcoming atmosphere.  One group of people we met were American and were keen to ask us to explain some english slang to them asking us what 'Chav' meant which i thought was very funny.  The only negative about nightlife in La Rochelle was walking back to the hostel in the dark as just girls, i noticed France had alot of wild dogs roaming the streets who left people alone for the large part but occassionally would fight with eachother near people which was freightening to hear and see, i was wary of walking past the dogs because you never know :-S also there were ALOT of tramps who came out at night to roam, they too were seemingly harmless but one or two would follow or watch us knowing we were tourists, a couple shouted at us and tried to get us to come over so i wouldn't suggest walking the streets or anywhere else there by yourself as a girl or even as a small group, there were thankfully 10 of us so it was small risk but had i been on my own i'd have been very scared.
Crepe on the beach time ^_^

Cultural differences in La Rochelle i noticed were the toilets!!  Everywhere seemed co-op, i'd walk into the toilets in a bar and there would be urinals...i'd exit thinking i MUST have gone in the wrong door only to be informed they were the only toilets, so where he pees, i pee! lol was rather liberating in a way, took away some of that prudishness really...we all do the same things afterall...why segregate it i guess?  Other cultural differences were opening times, things in France seem to stay open longer and open up a little later.  Their streets all seem laced with history and beautifully decorated with flowers, very much what i'd have imagined france to look like only better with carousels and markets galore, the artistic stalls fascinated me, france certainly boasted an impressive craftsmanship in it's streets.

The dock area on the way into La Rochelle centre at night.
  One thing i didn't enjoy was street performances using animals...one in particular in mid-day heat with the burning hot sun with the man using cats and dogs dressed in outfits to entertain passers by, i didn't enjoy that, i felt sorry for the animals and felt like frowning at the man allowing it to happen.

Shopping in La Rochelle in price range is in the middle, i didn't find it overly expensive and thoroughly enjoyed their answer to English Primark "Pimkies" as well as the best shop in history the "Tin Tin" shop full of figurines and cuddlies...geeky i know but they were Totoro ones!!! Can't get cooler, and colourful yoshis, something i've never seen in an English city so far.  We did spend a good while shopping, being a girly holiday i suppose that was a given, i broke off alot from the group when they were in shopping bonanza land for walks around the city to look at the buildings and scenery, shopping was admitedly good.

Rather good shop ^_^
..just not my cup of tea for an entire day's activity when there's nature and history around to be gawped at, amongst the things i found on my walks was a big building which looked a bit like the front of a castle with steel rusty bars covering the gateway, it wasn't very big though so couldn't have been but i followed a stray cat to it, when i got there i saw there was catfood all layed along the entrance by i dont know who and inside were at least 10 other stray cats!  On the back of the building was a set of large closed wooden doors and a crown emblem above...clearly i was introduced to the kingdom of the cats!  And i thought that was just a myth! ^_^

The day we spent in Il De Re was a lovely one, it was a quiet and very very sunny island which you can cycle all the way round then bask in the sun on the beautifully clean beaches eating crepes and taking in the peacefullness of the place.

Interesting character having just woken up from his boathouse on Il de Re
  I'd definitely reccommend Il de Re for a relaxing day, and i'd definitely go back to La Rochelle again, there was alot i didn't get to do or see when i was there due to the group activities but i had a really lovely time all the same and enjoyed being with the girls alot, it was a good experience :)

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Baguette Fiiiiiiiiight!!
Baguette Fiiiiiiiiight!!
Chillin on the beach.
Chillin' on the beach.
Mussells!!!! :-D yum yum
Mussells!!!! :-D yum yum
Dancing with a random local being …
Dancing with a random local being…
Part of the docks at a busy hour.
Part of the docks at a busy hour.
Crepe on the beach time ^_^
Crepe on the beach time ^_^
The dock area on the way into La R…
The dock area on the way into La …
Rather good shop ^_^
Rather good shop ^_^
Interesting character having just …
Interesting character having just…
A little bit of much much more gra…
A little bit of much much more gr…
lots of castles and forts in Franc…
lots of castles and forts in Fran…
Carousel :)
Carousel :)
A really good street entertainer t…
A really good street entertainer …
La Rochelles streets in which all…
La Rochelle's streets in which al…
Church late at night.
Church late at night.
One of the many beautiful beaches.
One of the many beautiful beaches.
Some gorgeous French architecture.
Some gorgeous French architecture.
I really loved this building.
I really loved this building.
The name of the cathedral pictured.
The name of the cathedral pictured.
Candles lit for loved ones.
Candles lit for loved ones.
A detailed Christ in the Cathedral.
A detailed Christ in the Cathedral.
If anyone has ever been to skegnes…
If anyone has ever been to skegne…
A big fancy boat visits the port!
A big fancy boat visits the port!
A random place i found which i hav…
A random place i found which i ha…
One of the MANY cats i saw inside…
One of the MANY cat's i saw insid…
The back of Cat-kingdom and why …
The back of "Cat-kingdom" and why…
Some good random artwork :)
Some good random artwork :)
a little trip down the river in da…
a little trip down the river in d…
Tin Tin!!!
Tin Tin!!!
Must be giants in France :-S...or …
Must be giants in France :-S...or…
:-O!!! Im in heaven!
:-O!!! I'm in heaven!
eeeeeee :-D
eeeeeee :-D
Totoro and Mai!!!
Totoro and Mai!!!
Beautiful sunny day at a more empt…
Beautiful sunny day at a more emp…
The front of the Hostel.
The front of the Hostel.
A fellow Hostel stayer meditating …
A fellow Hostel stayer meditating…
One of the live music bars with ve…
One of the live music bars with v…
Managing to get the girls up for a…
Managing to get the girls up for …
I thought this was very funny, i a…
I thought this was very funny, i …
Good job theres a sea nearby!
Good job there's a sea nearby!
The bridge to La Rochelle from Il …
The bridge to La Rochelle from Il…
I thought this was cute ^_^
I thought this was cute ^_^
Another funky bar :)
Another funky bar :)
More dancing.
More dancing.
Bowling on the last night there.
Bowling on the last night there.
We lost lol
We lost lol
Sponsored Links
La Rochelle
photo by: cateyes