Archive for January 29th, 2021

January 29, 2021

You know the Vendée, Noirmoutier island, part IV !

We went into the islands off the continental France , hugely popular and lovely; it was like been born again for me! I like to update this posts from 2017 with links,text using same pictures. There are several posts on the island and a lot more pictures in my blog. Hope you enjoy it as much as I ! This one is Ïle de Noirmoutier , part IIII !

And the saga of Noirmoutier continues with this the 4th version. Read on;;;;;

As said, it is a very nice island off the continent of France link by two passages via road. One is a big bridge or pont de Noirmoutier  since 1971 ;which was nice. The next one is the one we took on the way back, and it is at water level well underwater lol!!

On the way back we took the Passage du Gois which is a submersible road located between the bay of Bourgneuf that link the island of Noirmoutier at the town of Barbâtre with the continent on the town of Beauvoir sur Mer in the department of the Vendée No 85. The crossing can be done in voiture, bike or on foot only in low tide because at high tide is completely covered by the sea! It is a bit over 4 kms long (about 2.4 miles) and water can be as much as 4 meters deep (about 13 feet).

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During the high tides, the place is known for fishing on foot and you can see the folks doing that while crossing it. In the Bay around it you can harvest clams, cockles, and oysters. The oysters are ,also, developed ,because the Gois allows access at low tide to the oyster locations. You see the cages as you drive by too!. Paving of the road has been made between 1935 and 1939, in a time of two hours at low tide twice a day. At the end of this work, the Gois passage became passable. Even today, one observe this paving characteristic on a large portion of the passage even if a part has been paved.  The ride can be bumpy to some.  Official webpage of the passage du Goishttps://www.passagedugois.com/

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The road is part of the road D948 but the passage is known as far back as 820 when texts mentioned of the difficulty of passing due to dead water or high tides! It was heavily guarded by the Nazis who controlled it in WWII guarding the mouth of the bay of Saint Nazaire. There is another bridge here that we took on our way in call the Pont de Saint Nazaire and below it are the shipyards of the big cruise ships such as Harmony of the Seas.

You must adhere to these hours religiously as the crossing is considered dangerous, the high tide comes in rather quickly and once in the crossing there is no way out. Lately, there has been no deadly episodes but many rescues with cars lost ! The reason is there is only a narrow road each way and there is lots of traffic, very popular and you cannot drive fast but only at 50 kph or about 35 mph.

The tourist office of ïle Noirmoutier on the passage du Gois in English: https://www.ile-noirmoutier.com/en/gois-passage.html

This is the tourist site of the area and Beauvoir sur Mer on the passage du Gois: https://www.challansgois-tourisme.fr/a-decouvrir/le-passage-du-gois/

This is the above tourist site showing the low tides for 2021 in the passage du Gois: https://www.challansgois-tourisme.fr/vie-pratique/horaires-des-marees/

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There is,also, a famous running/walking course call the Crowds of Gois that will be done in June, Les Foulées du Gois; webpage in French: https://www.lesfouleesdugois.com/les-courses/

It’s an experience and for the road warrior like me it was wonderful to have the feeling of cutting the ocean driving on land that can submerge under the sea! Love it:: recommended! Enjoy the ways of my belle France and my road warrior experiences of an unique way of travel!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 29, 2021

You know the Vendée, Noirmoutier island, part III !

We went into the islands off the continental France , hugely popular and lovely; it was like been born again for me! I like to update this posts from 2017 with links,text using same pictures. There are several posts on the island and a lot more pictures in my blog. Hope you enjoy it as much as I ! This one is Ïle de Noirmoutier , part III !

Continuing the saga of my visit to the island of Noirmoutier , this is as seen the 3rd episode!

Easy to get to Noirmoutier, south of Nantes and from there take the bus 13 , that is from the Nantes train station if coming by the airport take the airport shuttle bus for 9€ to the train station then the bus 13 to Noirmoustier. By road from Nantes along the D723 direction Bouguenais ,then sucessives roads D751, D758 , D22 direction of the D38 La Guérinière turn off in traffic circle to Noirmoustier. For the benefit of those in public transports here is the bus 13 route:https://loireatlantique.transdev-paysdelaloire.com/ligne-13-nantesfromentinenoirmoutier

The island is ideal to walk and take a bike as well, nice views and beautiful seashores. On this posting I would like to talk about the island of butterflies or île aux papillons!

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This is very educational for the whole family right out of Noirmoustier direction La Guériniére on  the road D948 past the Intermarché supermarket take a right and see the signs for it. Open April,May,and September ;Mondays to Fridays from 14h to 19h and June,July, and August every day from 10h to 19h30. Admission is 9.10€ adult. Free parking and picnic area available.

The enclosed garden is kept at 26C or about 79F and see hundreds of butterflies from Guyana, Kenya, Madagascar, Costa Rica, and the Philippines!  You will see the stand where they are born and kept until able to fly almost a 1000 of them.  This is claim to be the largest butterfly greenhouse in France.

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There is an AC room showing a film on the life of the butterfly, as well as a boutique with souvenirs of the butterfly world and refreshments. The greenhouse has many plants attractive to butterflies such as banana trees and ponds ,one with red fish in it ,rather big lol! You ,also ,will see a section on the back with quails of China these are small chicken like animals very delicious but here they look cute ::)

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The tourist office of île de Noirmoutier on the butterfly island gardens in English: https://www.ile-noirmoutier.com/en/island-activities/heritage-tourist-attractions/lile-aux-papillons.html

The official webpage of the Île aux Papillons : http://www.ile-aux-papillons.com/spip.php?page=sommaire

A nice family experience and something to do after a beach day I would say.  Families with kids under 15 will enjoy it most me think. Ours are young men so it was a quick tour.

Enjoy the Noirmoutier island living it is best and of course when in France oh là là là là là and là là!!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 29, 2021

You know the Vendée, Noirmoutier island, part II !

We went into the islands off the continental France , hugely popular and lovely; it was like been born again for me! I like to update this posts from 2017 with links,text using same pictures. There are several posts on the island and a lot more pictures in my blog. Hope you enjoy it as much as I ! This one is Ïle de Noirmoutier , part II !

Ok so now taking over from my personal trip to the Vendée , the continuation of the visit to Noirmoutier-en-île. As in Part II or 2.

 It was the leisure walk on the town knowing that this is an island that is only 18 km long by a width that goes from 500 meters to 12 km for a total area of 49 km 2. Ok if my non metric background tells me correctly this is about 11 miles long by from 800 feet to 7 miles for a total area of 19 square miles.  So the water is all around you , and the architecture resembles more of a Spanish white town of Andalucía than all the way north in the Vendée of France.

The digue or dam all along the canal into the harbor area is lovely and nice plaques announcing historical events abound. This was done by Jean Corneille Jacobsen starting from 1818.  This took an area of about 59 hectares or 146 acres.

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There is a lovely square Place Saint Louis where the nice restaurants we ate in one, and lovely architecture. There is a pretty Carrousel ride on the square or Place de la République at Noirmoutier which is grand as there is also a covered market there.

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You have a beautiful harbor with the dams as explain in English at the tourist office site. The port is split in two and separated by the Place d’Armes (where the castle is located) : Quai Cassard, named after the ship’s captain, and Quai Jean Bart, descendant of the Jacobsen family, both seafarers at the end of the 17C.

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At the harbor and the market you can find the very best from the region and especially the fish and seafood is fresh and abundant beautifully displayed in the stands.More on this culinary discovery which sure will take us back is here in English, webpage: https://www.ile-noirmoutier.com/en/taste/our-local-products.html

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The tourist office of Noirmoutier island in English: https://www.ile-noirmoutier.com/en/noirmoutier-en-lile-historical-center.html

In all a wonderful time in a pretty island off the mainland of the Vendée or Poitou of France; my belle France! Enjoy it as I do everyday! The Île de Noirmoutier is one to come back and just relax around it!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 29, 2021

You know the Vendée, Noirmoutier island, part I !

We went into the islands off the continental France , hugely popular and lovely; it was like been born again for me! I like to update this posts from 2017 with links,text using same pictures. There are several posts on the island and a lot more pictures in my blog. Hope you enjoy it as much as I ! This one is Ïle de Noirmoutier , part I !

This is the beginning of several posts on the Vendée dept 85 old region of France , historically proud and independent not a fan of the French revolution.   It is today in the region of Pays de la Loire; but it was the historical province of Poitou, specifically the department correspond to the old Bas-Poitou.

I have passed by here many times , but as always in my belle France, there is so much to see and do ,little time , will need a lifetime !!! However, this Sunday I took a decision to go and visit the island of Noirmoutier and it was a pleasant surprise or rather I knew it would be beautiful !

We rode by car , of course, the best way to travel in country. taking the N165 down from me is about 2h45 and 207 kms. We cut by Pont Chateau D773 to the N171 and then , the Pont de Saint Nazaire on the D213 or Route Bleue towards Bourneuf -en-Retz, to Bouin on the D758  onwards to Beauvoir sur Mer ,then get on the D22 to Fromentine, and there take the D38 at La Barre de Monts ,and on the bridge or pont de Noirmoustier.  The ride was wonderfully good and easy with great sites along the ocean and marine terminals and the marais Breton or Breton marshes!

Info traffic on the pont de Saint Nazaire in French: https://inforoutes.loire-atlantique.fr/jcms/navigation/navigation-principale/pont-de-saint-nazaire/info-trafic-sur-le-pont-de-saint-nazaire/info-trafic-sur-le-pont-de-saint-nazaire-fr-dev_6133

We passed once on the island the town of Barbâtre and its windmills or moulins. The nice intermarché supermarket at La Guériniére. There is a nice butterfly island garden and a nice monument stone to a fallen B17 US crew in WWII; and the beach or Plage de la Cantine with its bunkers of WWII.  Aerosteles Aeronautical webpage on memorials and the one here: https://www.aerosteles.net/stelefr-lagueriniere-b17

All the way to the bus station or gare routiére  in Noirmoutier. You see a small aquarium or Sealand, a bit smallish and a bit expensive but it is right in the digue or canal out to sea. There is a nice petit train or small train ride out from Place d’Armes by the castle.

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And the historical home of the Oratoire de Sainte Marie de Euphrasie Pelletier.  The Saint was born here in 1796 with the name Rose Virginie Pelletier and was canonize in 1940. She left us in 1868 at the age of 72. It now houses the religious order of the Bon Pasteur  for the retirement periods which they purchased in 1951.  The order joined with those of Notre Dame  de Charité in 2004. This house is the birthplace of the Saint. Bon Pasteur webpage on the founders of the order in French: https://www.bonpasteur.com/missions/les-fondateurs

A blog showcasing the Oratory of Sainte Marie de Euphrasie Pelletier in French:https://lalumierededieu.blogspot.com/2016/06/noirmoutier-en-ile-oratoire-sainte.html 

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As well as a nice Hôtel de Ville or city hall building on the Place de l’hôtel de ville. You see an interesting stone by the digues on the canal of the anchor stone of the boat that brought St James or Santiago de Compostela to Padron, and both cities are twin so the gift to this island.

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Then, there is the Les Salorges, old salt storage buildings now use as a cultural center for theater plays, concerts etc facing the canal out to sea.The city of Noirmoutier on the cultural center of Les Salorges in French: https://www.ville-noirmoutier.fr/listes/les-salorges/

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The tourist office of Noirmoutier en Île in English: https://www.ile-noirmoutier.com/en

The Vendée dept 85 tourist office on Noirmoutier en Île in English: http://www.vendee-tourism.co.uk/discover/nature-and-countryside/noirmoutier-island/

In all a wonderful day sunny nice and full of visitors! The first day of tourist season and it was packed, things look rosy in the coming weeks and months for Noirmoutier island or Noirmoutier-en-île. Hope you enjoy the post and the series on this wonderful island. See you around the coasts of France!

And remember,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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