Sunday, 17 August 2014

En Vacances, Episode 1

I've been home from my hols a week but what with a birthday, work and a sick cat (urinary infection, now much better thankfully) there's been no time for more blogging until now.  
I just love France, don't ask me why... I can't explain it. I just do.  I hadn't been to France for a holiday since the 80's when I spent a week in Paris, but in the 70's I had many very happy camping holidays in rural France with my parents and brother and for three consecutive years we went to the same site in Vendee.  It is of these holidays that I have the fondest memories.  So after 35 years I returned... and I wasn't disappointed.

We drove down on the Peage, unlike Blighty we didn't see much traffic and the B roads which I expected to be busier were quiet too.  No potholes or patched up roads here, how do they fund their fabulous roads?  Anyone know?

Our accommodation, which Dad forked out for was a lovely old four bedroom country house in Lairoux, a tiny hamlet a few miles from the coast. The massive garden came complete with an abundance of fruit trees, vines and swimming pool. The figs were amazing.

I had my photographers head on for most of the holiday and found Vendee a dream to snap.  I love  capturing the texture of old crumbling plaster, faded facades and peeling paintwork.  For me that really epitomizes the rural France I remember.  (it's true.. but doesn't it sound such pretentious shit?)

Vendee's landscape is very flat and you can see for miles.  At this time of year there's a preponderance of sunflower fields and hay bales, more photo opportunities!

However it wasn't just winding alleys and bucolic splendour, we saw these cool street performers when visiting La Rochelle.

Monsieur appears to be floating in mid air.  The arm attached to the pole is obviously false and the shoes are dodgy too but I still can't work it out, elucidate please someone.   Very cleverly they only moved when money was thrown into the hat, the one above doffed his hat to the donor....

...whilst this bloke standing on the harbour wall made clanking and creaking noises as if he was in dire need of a liberal squirt of  3 in 1.

 Check out this stunning graffiti.

 La Rochelle Harbour entrance - from one side

...and the other.

 arty shots... (a la Curtise)

Boulette s'il vous plait

Before we left we had lunch at this cafe.  Bloody hell, France is not cheap.
E3.30 for an Orangina.... WTF?   I still love it though.


  1. Managed to miss your last post Fiona and glad to hear you had a lovely time en vacances. Great photos and can see why you love Le Vendee too.
    Fliss xx

  2. Oh it looks so beautiful! I don't know about my arty shots, Fiona, yours are infinitely superior! I can completely see the appeal of the faded, crumbling buildings and the endless fields and skies, and the harbour at La Rochelle is stunning.
    I don't think anywhere in Europe is very cheap any more. But hey, worth the Euros for a lovely time in a beautiful place, non?
    PS. Birthday? Have I missed you birthday? When was it? xxx

  3. Of course you love France! There's so much to love!

  4. You certainly did have your photographer's head on, these pictures are spectacular.
    Those crumbling maisons are gorgeous, I love an enamel street sign and I want to go to France right now! xxxx

  5. What's not to love about France? Looks like you had a great holiday with lovely weather. And I love your photos - they're so French!! :)

  6. Oh, me too. It's just so packed full of the good stuff, beautiful buildings, countryside and food. I'm like you, hadn't been in a while, but now I want to go again soon. The Vendee looks gorgeous and I love all your photos. Welcome back! Xxxx

  7. Oh I love France too … never been there … but I'm sure I love it ;0)
    Your photos are looking great … let out the inner artist I say.

  8. Gorgeous, just gorgeous. There really is just something about France.

  9. How lovely to catch up with you Fiona! Your photos are always captivating. I'm not long back from La Belle France myself although it seems that you definitely got the weather (lucky we brought our rainbrellas!) Vicky x

  10. PS Forgot to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Vx

  11. Oh wow yum! Fabulous photos of a dreamy as place. If I ever get overseas France is on my list.


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