Une journée à Le Tour

Never has watching a sport for so little time taken so long – such is a day, and it takes a whole day, watching a stage of Le Tour. Nevertheless it’s great fun and a real insight into French culture.

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Wow !

The most striking building in the French coastal city of Royan is undoubtedly the Cathedral (église Notre-Dame) – it stands on the site of a former neo-gothic church that was destroyed in 1945 (as was much of Royan).  Designed by architects Guillaume Gillet and Marc Hébrard and built between 1955-58 entirely of concrete, it is considered one of the leaders of French contemporary architecture.

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Citadelle de Brouage

Founded around 1555 Brouage was at first the centre for European salt trading, before it became a military base under the drive of it’s governor: Richelieu.  It was once the most impressive sea-port of France and Louis XIV, today the bastion lies some distance “inland” surrounded by brackish marshes and provides some interesting photographic opportunities although is perhaps best appreciated from the air.

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Carrelets

Dotted along the banks of the Gironde Estuary are circa 400 wooden fishing huts which have been built on stilts. Their main implement is a square pulley-operated net (or “filet carré”) which has given the humble shacks their name “carrelets”.

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Creeks of the Seudre

The brackish marshes north and south of the Seudre are a maze of small creeks and villages built on the local oyster farming industry. The blue skies contrast nicely with the green marsh of this Atlantic region of France with the creeks and boats old and new making good photographic subjects along with some fine villas and the colourful sheds of the oyster farmers.

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The Alcazar

The Alcazar of Jerez or more correctly Jerez de la Frontera (the frontier being between the Muslim and Christian worlds) is one of the most emblematic monuments in the city.  It is situated in the Southeastern corner of a wall that once enclosed the ancient city.  The Alcazar comprised walls, towers and gates and constituted a complex defensive system.

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