Photography | Vendée

In 2018 I attended a French course at the summer school run by the U3A . While there I discovered that our tutor, Louisette, ran a course in France, at Les sables d'Olonne, in the Vendée. I expressed an interest and in 2019 Helen and I made our way there by car. We booked for three weeks, arriving a week before the course.

The course was run in the mornings over two weeks and that left the afternoons free for Helen and me, although we did on occasions go places with the group. Helen took lunches with us in the Roc Saint Jean restaurant that also hosted the course. It was superbly located on the rocky coastline. One couldn't have wished for a more desirable place to attend a French course.

Our apartment, in the Hôtel de l'Estran holiday complex, was across the road from a tourist attraction known as Le Puits d'Enfer (the wells/shafts of Hell), deep fissures in the rocks that boiled with water and foam when the sea was rough.

Walking into town the rocky coastline transformed into a magnificent beach that I imagine would be very busy in the peak French holiday season, but it was very lightly populated while we were there. We explored the town, the zoo that focusses on environmental protection and the aquarium, and enjoyed the shops and restaurants.

We had a day trip to the Île de Ré. This didn't leave us a lot of time to explore and we spent most of the time in the main town, Saint Martins, where we had a very enjoyable lunch.

We also went to the floral gardens of the Court d'Aron, at Saint-Cyr-en-Talmondais, a quite magnificent place to spend a few hours.

La Vendée
Les sables d'Olonne

  •  The beach at Les sables d'Olonne

    The beach at Les sables d'Olonne

  •  View from our Estran holiday apartment

    View from our Estran holiday apartment

  •  The Estran apartment complex

    The Estran apartment complex

  •  Estran viewed from along the coast

    Estran viewed from along the coast

  •  Restaurant Roc-Saint-Jean - our classroom!

    Restaurant Roc-Saint-Jean - our classroom!

  •  The coast near the Estran apartment

    The coast near the Estran apartment

  •  Another view of the rocky coastline

    Another view of the rocky coastline

  •  Le Puits d'Enfer

    Le Puits d'Enfer

  •  Le Puits d'Enfer - in French!

    Le Puits d'Enfer - in French!

  •  Angry sea near Le Puits d'Enfer

    Angry sea near Le Puits d'Enfer

  •  Sun reflects off the rocky coastline

    Sun reflects off the rocky coastline

  •  Helen

    Helen

  •  Bob wears JOTT - bought in town

    Bob wears JOTT - bought in town

  •  The beach viewed from the Port end of town

    The beach viewed from the Port end of town

  •  Wind surfing off the beach

    Wind surfing off the beach

  •  In town

    In town

  •  House mosaics in Quartier de L'Ile Penotte

    House mosaics in Quartier de L'Ile Penotte

  •  House mosaics in Quartier de L'Ile Penotte

    House mosaics in Quartier de L'Ile Penotte

  •  House mosaics in Quartier de L'Ile Penotte

    House mosaics in Quartier de L'Ile Penotte

  •  Parc zoologique - birds

    Parc zoologique - birds

  •  Parc zoologique - baby giraffe

    Parc zoologique - baby giraffe

  •  Parc zoologique - leopard

    Parc zoologique - leopard

  •  Parc zoologique - cheeky lollipop-eating monkey

    Parc zoologique - cheeky lollipop-eating monkey

  •  Aquarium

    Aquarium

  •  Aquarium

    Aquarium

  •  Île de Ré - Saint Martins

    Île de Ré - Saint Martins

  •  Tintin shop at Saint-Martins-de-Ré

    Tintin shop at Saint-Martins-de-Ré

  •  Our French group

    Our French group

Gardens Court d'Alon

  •  Lake

    Lake

  •  Foxglove

    Foxglove

  •  Foxclove up close

    Foxclove up close

  •  Helen - some guitar!

    Helen - some guitar!

  •  Bob in the insect house

    Bob in the insect house

  •  Flamingoes in bronze

    Flamingoes in bronze

  •  Bird watching hide

    Bird watching hide

  •  Sort of greenhouse

    Sort of greenhouse

  •  Chinese bridge

    Chinese bridge

  •  One of many orchids

    One of many orchids

  •  The lake from a bridge

    The lake from a bridge

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