The sun has set and it is getting close to 11 at night. We are sitting on the harbour wall in St Martin de Ré waiting for the fireworks to begin. It’s the end of a Bastille Day that began with ceremonial events in the various villages across the Ile de Ré . We were in La Courade…
This year’s events while being festive were also a little more serious, coming so close to the hundredth anniversary of the start of La Grande Guerre.
Of course once the band had finished playing and the free plastic tricolores had been handed out it was business as usual. La Courade was busy enjoying a holiday.
Even though it was France’s biggest holiday, the island didn’t seem particularly busy this July 14th. I have seen it busier on a sunny Sunday in May. In fact until the evening fireworks St Martin felt rather quiet. More importantly it was looking rather beautiful.
As the sun started to set we went looking for a comfortable spot to see the fireworks.
When Vauban designed the walls that encircle St Martin de Ré he probably wasn’t thinking about comfort but his thick fortifications were a great place to lie down and watch the sun disappear and the fireworks begin.
To see if our house on the Ile de Ré is available when you are click here….
At low tide so many of the Ile de Ré beaches turn into long wide stretches of sand and if you have arrived on your bike you might as well make the best use of it. This picture was taken between Ars and La Courade a short cycle through the vineyards and along the coast from our house in St Martin de Ré.
The key to a successful beach bike session is finding the right spot on the sand. Somewhere the ground is not so wet that your wheels get stuck and you come to an abrupt halt. The sand also cannot be too dry as again you will soon be going nowhere. Often the best thing to do is to cycle along just where the sea is lapping the sand.
Even if you do get stuck in the sand it is still a great way to see another side of the island. Yet another reason why bicycles are so much a part of the Ile de Ré.
See what happened when we brought a tree home by bike here…
So we needed a new tree for the garden. Clearly the only way to get it home was by bike. It’s what you do on the Ile de Ré.
The best thing about the journey back from Les Jardins de Suzanne in La Courade to Saint Martin de Ré was how most of the cyclists coming the other way didn’t seem surprised. Tree on back of bike? Why not?
The tree is now safely planted in our garden so hopefully next summer some lucky renter will get the chance to sample a few cherries from the garden.