As I said earlier, La Rochellle is a pioneer in eco-friendly transportation measures. At a time, it was possible to hire yellow bikes since cars were banned from the center... I haven't seen them though I saw electric cars in this clean city.
Clean cars have their own parking lot, where they are re-loaded. It is possible to hire them at some places for some euros. 24/24 and 7/7.
It was the first French city to implement in Sep. 9 1997, the "No-car day". Moreover, the city is involved in the R&D concerning electric cars. Its engineer school EIGSI still houses a lab dedicated to testing electric cars, Laboratoire Européen d’Essai des Véhicules Electriques.
La Rochelle is a city with a past, but already with her feet in our millenium.
La Rochelle, dépt. Charentes Maritime, I'll return
"Charming La Rochelle"
My La Rochelle page is finished !. On Dec. 14 2003, this is the first French page I finished. I thought Paris would have been the first but .. NO, LR is first... Very probably, Ile de Ré would be second.
When I think of la Rochelle, "charm" immediately comes to my mind. It's all about that.
The charm of La Rochelle by night, the charm of the towers, the ships, the buildings... L'Hôtel de ville included.
Shops are tiny but nicely set. Sheltered by the so-called arcades...
Museums... it's not every city that has the Musée du flacon à parfum... Musée du Nouveau Monde, Musée des Graffittis anciens. But La Rochelle has all of that, plus some other nice things.
My discovery of La Rochelle was interesting, joyful... I was guided by a friend, who works in the tourism industry, a real Rochelaise who knows and loves her region very well.
You may find this page huge, it's because I am learning about history of La Rochelle, hence the long tips cc history. Actually, they are summaries of texts I read about La Rochelle. Mind you! This page is to show what I saw and also to help me kepping up my documenting and learning about La Rochelle.
"Yachts, boats, ships"
First European marina... Those yachts I've seen were impressive. They come from all over Europe.
While walking along the quay, I heard from an expansive guy talking behind me that those from UK and Sweden were the most impressive ....
Everything in the city reminds you of the sea. Wood lumber on facades, like on ancient ships... Lighthouses... Antiques and trinket shops... Many themes are related to sea, shipping.
And food! yes, food is **sea-ish**, off course!
"Architecture from past centuries"
Walk through La Rochelle and you would notice that: roughcast façades (en crépi)... like eaten by the seasalt and rendered flaky.
La Rochelle has many buildings from XV and XVIII centuries. The protestant city had known influences of peoples who tried to control access to the sea. At times in its history, it has been French then English then French then English again... catholic, protestant... Very independent and rebellous population, who resisted Royal authority. Eventually, it became French, after being under siege for months, hence a severe starvation .. It was in Richelieu era, 1628 October..
Above all, it used to be an area open for trade since La Rochelle had a port for trading activities.
Architecture... interesting... plain and flaky white walls, plastered with wood lumbers sometimes.. or with slate tiles. Middle Age architecture.
Some townhouses that belonged to rich and powerful families who traded spices, woods. Often, with some stone carvings on the façades.
Or colourful in Gabut area...
In fact, I just fell in love with the city. I remembered having told my cousin that La Rochelle would be my retirement place if I were rich. Still cracking up remembering that.
Believe me, I am too young to think of that. I've never looked for a retirement place but put it this way, this city has it all: elegance, quietness yet lively, clean and some identity you can't miss. Life may be expensive, especially for young locals, but one may find a quality of life over there. Still, I noticed some room for creativity, probably business dynamics. And not only in the port activities and shipping field.