Erasmus Interns in France take time out

Visiting the coastline of South West France

Pons – Charente Maritime

Hi! My name is Gabriela, I’m from Poland and I am an Erasmus student interning at La Giraudière. Two weeks ago together with others in the group we took an outing to the delightful coastline of South-West France. Our first stop of the car ride was for café at the city of Pons. Pons is located in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France. The city is known for its numerous national historic monuments dating from the 12th century on wards. One of the most well known is the 33 meter high Keep (or Dungeon) of Pons which is the official symbol of the city. We spent there about half an hour, grabbing a coffee, admiring the old dungeon and wandering around the park.

Dungeon of Pons

Talmont Sur Gironde

Our next stop was at Talmont-sur-Gironde, one of the Plus beaux villages de France. This is the second plus beau village for me as I had the opportunity to visit Aubeterre-sur-Dronne on a previous outing.

Talmont-sur-Gironde is a village in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. Its inhabitants are called Talmonais and Talmonaises. Talmont is also a small port where sturgeon were once fished for its eggs (caviar).

We saw there the admirable Romanesque church of Sainte-Radegonde dating from the year 1094. A former bastide founded by the King of England and Duke of Aquitaine Edward I in 1284, this small city camped on a promontory overlooking the Gironde estuary was once a formidable stronghold, of which only a few sections of ramparts and the remains of a medieval tower half ruined (white tower) now remain.

St Radegund church in Talmont-sur-Gironde

Meschers and Saint George de Didonne

After that, we took a ride by Gironde estuary, passing by the towns of Meschers and Saint-Georges-de-Didonne. Then, we headed onto Royan, one of the main French Atlantic coastal resort towns. We left our car just north of there and started long, remarkable walk along the coast.

House in Royan
Vaux and Saint-Palais-Sur-Mer

Our walk was accompanied by lots of sunshine and nice sea breeze. Exceptional hotness of that day didn’t bother us, since we were surrounded by astonishing coastal views. During the tour, we crossed the towns of Vaux-sur-Mer and Saint-Palais-sur-Mer. In that second one we had our very French lunch that consisted of crêpes. After a well deserved meal we had time to cool off by swimming in the Atlantic ocean.

In total, we had walked around 14 km. The route from Royan to Saint-Palais-sur-Mer was a bit longer, because we chose the way along the coast. It was about 8 km. Journey back was 6 km long, since we decided to walk the road.

Intern from Poland taking a trip to the coast in south-west France
Polish intern at French coast
Barbezieux Relais – Truck stop

After the long and intense day, we stopped for dinner in Relais de Barbezieux. It’s a restaurant mainly used by truckers who pass the town on their way to Spain or Paris. We ate very tasty food there, drank some wine and with regenerated strengths we came back to Brossac, refreshed and ready to continue our interning the next day.

This was not our last excursion. Stay tuned to find out how we spend our time with La Giraudière’s program.

About La Giraudiere

The whole idea of the La Giraudiere project is for people of all backgrounds, all ages, all nationalities to have the chance to live together learn about each others lifestyle exchange their knowledge, experiences and skills whilst living and working together in France and at the same time helping, improving and adding to the Project for those to come in the future. To see the different types of volunteers work that has been done and what is still required visit our website
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