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Our third full day and our first trip into our host city of La Rochelle. We’d uncovered information that the centre of town is quite pretty to walk around, especially around the old harbour, and also the Aquarium was supposed to be rather good, as such things go. We did both things on the same day, and therefore by definition, it must have been a long day. The weather was very, very hot again. Whilst it’s nice to see some good weather, there is such a thing as “too hot”, and most of this week was like that.

As I remember it, we parked up by the Tour de la Lantern and set off for a walk, taking in most of the old port and its immediate backdrop first of all, then wending our way around to the Tour St Nicholas (which we went into), through the area known as the Gabut, and around to La Rochelle Aquarium, which we went into briefly to get out of the heat if nothing else.

The Gabut is an area of the old port that’s been redeveloped as a series of traditional-looking buildings (but presumably modern inside) which are clad in wood and painted in various bright colours. Near to here is also the Maritime Museum, which is on a ship sitting in the harbour. We didn’t go aboard but it is quite photogenic.

The Aquarium features a lift which gives the impression of descending through water. It’s a neat trick even though you actually only go down about half a floor. It was air-conditioned and in shade, so a welcome break from the heat. Once we were all fished out, we walked back around this side of the harbour and caught the small boat across the harbour back to the Cour des Dames, and so back to our car. We had various meal, drink and ice cream breaks during the course of the day, as you do.