A Tale of an ancient city and a 17 year old Exchange Student
We arrived in La Rochelle, France around 2 and hungry. Inadvertently I parked in a “Police Area” the only lot with spaces, and across the street from a handsome restaurant. The patio, due to intermittent rain, was empty and the inside, crammed.
The special of the day was “Rochelle Burger”. I requested well-done. It wasn’t. I told the waiter I had asked for “well-done” and he said it was. I cut the bloody meat…he apologized and said he would take care of it immediately…and brought me another entire meal exactly the same. The French fries and salad were excellent.
While I had coffee on the patio, watching for a policeman to approach our car, Mike walked the narrow, one-way streets to find our Hotel De France and it was nearby WITH underground parking! Excellent for such a very walkable city. A lovely hotel and a lovely room.
We met up with Kate Van Dessel, our lovely Belgium exchange-student from 24 years ago. La Rochelle was on our way home and an hour’s flying time for Kate.
We had a glass of wine beside the fire-place in the lounge and planned our stay. This is an old city, 11th century, and beautifully maintained. One of France’s major ports became the biggest yachting center on France’s Atlantic coast. (See picture below)
Kate was 17 when she arrived to spend her “senior” year at our local high school. Our daughter was a junior and we felt the cultural exchange would be good for her. We had no idea of how it would impact us. Living with her for a year, eventually meeting her family, future husband and learning about Belgium changed our lives. We began to travel.
That evening we walked the cobbled streets to the Portside for dinner. Our Concierge recommended Chez Andre for their Lotte, also called Monkfish, and Sea Devil, served with risotto. Excellent…as was the wine Mike paired with it. After, we had coffee outside overlooking the harbor.
Kate brought us up to date on her family and on her travels as an executive VP for D.H.L International. We related episodes from our recent trip to Israel.
People nearby were talking about a “Special Event” happening here tomorrow between the 2 massive harbor towers. Later our concierge filled us in on the “Extreme Event” of the “Red Bull Cliff Dive” set for 6pm the next day. “A must see” he said. And we would.
To be continued in 3 days…
Hey there! I posted a picture from your blog on mine (https://alixander.co/?p=3611). Let me know if you have a problem with that.