Scenes from Ile de Ré

In next edition of Caro visits favorite Parisian vacation spots, I write to you from Saint Martin de Ré. After Provence in April, Corsica last summer, and the beaches of the Mediterranean two summers ago, I jumped at the opportunity to visit this ‘little’ island near La Rochelle. I place little in quotes, as the island spans approximately 85 kilometers squared, and has at any time, somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 residents. A far cry from my island of 600, but it is by the sea, and that’s what counts.

There is definitely something about this place that reminds me of home. The Atlantic air helps, as does the mix of locals & Parisians (in Boothbay, we are always inundated with Bostonians), and the town is full of temptations. I made the mistake of going out this morning while the ice cream stand pictured above were preparing their waffle cones for the day, the smell of sweet, waffle-y goodness drifting through the air.

As with every small town in France, Saint Martin de Ré has it’s fair share of hidden passages & charming alleys. And while these photos may portray a sense of calm, the town remains bustling into the evening. The night I arrived, there was a jazz festival going on by the port, and a good 300 hundred people had gathered to check out the music.

You might be wondering by now– but Caroline, where are the pictures of those beautiful, sprawling French beaches? Well, justement, I haven’t had time to check them out yet. Don’t worry, don’t worry, It will happen. I’ve just been very studious since my arrival–taking advantage of the concentration that comes with calm to get back in working mode for the coming season.

I’ll finish this quickly, as I am preparing for a voice lesson. But I am excited for the rest of this week, perhaps eventually indulging in some treats (creperie this afternoon), and visiting the beaches for a last taste of summer before I must, as all Parisians, return to the city.

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