Chateau d’Oléron, Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Ok better sleeping didn’t quite go to plan. We are very close to the coast and in the evening it gets a little breezy so the awning flapped around all night and disturbed me. T seemed to sleep ok though. We are going to try with the awning down as the trees give good shade in the morning and the van’s shadow does the job in the afternoon.

Our first venture today is to wander down to the beach through the campsite. It’s not very far, about 0.5k.

Through the campsite, through a gate and then we come across the citadel walls and moat. It began as a castle, was turned into a fort in the 17C, was used to train soldiers, has been a prison, monument and was occupied by the Germans in the second world war.

This bit of the citadel is right next to the beach and the walls run along the coast to our right. The tide is out and there’s quite a bit of seaweed but there’s plenty of sand so we’ll definitely be trying out our new umbrella and beach chairs while we are here.

Back to the van along the strange little beach next to a pond with lifeguards.

Straight out again into Chateau d’Oléron town through another citadel gate. Looking for the tourist information we come across a church. Very dark and dower inside but we light a candle and have a wander.

Follow our noses and find a big square with it the tourist office in the centre. Load up with a cycling map and a map of the island. We enjoy a pint in the square whilst we make a plan. Kronenburg at last!

Onto the citadel proper and it’s up to and along the bridge to the Royal Gate. It’s hot but worth the steps.

We can see the port from the top of the walls, and the many brightly painted repurposed oyster sheds that now contain lots of artisan businesses.

Quick visit to a museum that is a shrine to wooden boats and their history on the island.

Treat ourselves to a lovely painted oyster shell as a Christmas decoration. It’s currently set up to sit on a shelf rather than hang so we go and find a cold beer whilst adjustments are made. Pelforth this time also good.

Here lovers hang oyster shells instead of locks on bridges. Very quaint.

13,000 steps later we wander back to the van and do our thing. G&T, dinner of fish and paella, Rummikub and trivia quizzes. I won the one game so now it’s 11-9! Getting closer.

I enjoy one episode of The Cook of Castermar sitting outside after T goes to bed. A good day.

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