A Visit to La Rochelle and Its Region, the Charente Maritime in New Aquitaine by board member Monique Laird
Friday, September 20 at 6:30 p.m.
$10 members and students - $20 for non-members
We invite you to the West Coast of France, in the former provinces of Aunis and Saintonge.
A walk for lovers of beautiful seashores and countryside, of history and of magnificent architecture, all basking in Mediterranean light and weather!
On this 420 km coast and inland you have ports (La Rochelle, Rochefort); the greatest number of Romanesque churches in France (Art Roman Saintongeais); long sandy beaches lined with pines; white cliffs; marshes where you can get lost; an archipelago of islands (Re, Oleron, Aix, Madame); an oyster basin (the largest in Europe); and the vine whose grapes are used to produce the famous Cognac!
We will stop in the famous port city of La Rochelle, nicknamed by the English "the White City." We will meet Choderlos de Laclos and Georges Simenon, two writers who lived in this beautiful city. We will talk about the history of France and Franco-American relations, with its twin city of New Rochelle (NY).
We will make a side-trip to one of the islands that everybody dreams about: Isle de Re (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
We will also go to Rochefort to meet Pierre Loti, a writer of travelogues; and Charles Plumier and Michel V. Begon, botanists; we will embark on the Marquis de La Fayette’s frigate, Hermione, which assisted the American colonies in their War of Independence; and we will also meet the twin sisters who sing and dance ("Les Demoiselles de Rochefort," who appear in Jacques Demy’s cult film).
We will also visit a territory full of mysteries: the Marais Poitevin, also called "the Green Venice."
On our trip, we will not overlook the architectural beauties of towns and villages, and the gastronomic delights ...
Finally, to end this tour of the Charentes region, we will offer you a pleasant tasting buffet with some "mythical" regional specialties—tasty delights that will surprise you!