La Rochelle, An Ancient City

We found the architecture in this city to be stunning. Going outside was awe inspiring in La Rochelle, for many reasons. 

The usually busy streets of a famous resort town were deserted.  COVID 19 has left its mark in France. People were not out, they really stayed home.  It may have had something to do with the large fines of Euro300 should we be further than 1 km from  home, or just the fact that this area France took the virus quite seriously and did what was required. 

The ancient port of Rupella, all the fishing and marinas, all point to La Rochelle’s tight bond with the ocean; over the centuries, each harbor featured specific ships, trades, commercial activites, urban influences and heritage.

La Rochelle was founded during the 10th century and became an important harbour in the 12th century.  Its rich history can be found on  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Rochelle

Its western location in France, being beneficial by saving days of sailing time, La Rochelle enjoyed successful fishing in the western Atlantic and trading with the New World and was a very prosperous city in the 15 and 16 centuries. 

The Knights Templar had a strong presence in La Rochelle.  La Rochelle was the Templars largest base on the Atlantic Ocean and where they stationed their main fleet.

We were very careful with being in crowds, and avoided the busiest of times everywhere.  We generally stayed to ourselves, and washed our hands and faces and everything we touched religiously. 

Eventually as confinement eased, we found that the people returned, some shops opened, we were able to visit the Maritime museum and were allowed to spend more than an hour out of our homes. 

Once we received word that we could get into Portugal after June 15, we decided to depart on a good weather opportunity.  We spent three months in La Rochelle, before our departure across the Bay of Biscay to Lisbon, where we would catch up soon with the owners, and where the broker for the boat was based. 

The weather forecast looked lovely, with not too large of swells for the Bay of Biscay.

One of the friends of a friend we made during confinement shot this drone video during the early days of Confinement. its an excellent representation of how it was in this area at this time of the Pandemic. We are guessing it was filmed about April 5, based on the fact of where Sea Rose is sitting at the dock. We are the catamaran at the bottom left of the screen at minute about 1:50, and again at the end.

Of all the places we could have been during this time in our lives, it was a magical place to be during confinement. We found the French people overly helpful and welcoming to us, and we thank them for their hospitality.

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