La Rochelle Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.