VOL. 21 NO. 1
Independent Traveler's Newsletter
IN THIS ISSUE:
By the sea, by the sea, by the
beautiful sea . .
Ici et Là
Property Buying Forecast for France in 2017
by Charlie Heckstall-Smith
A Dream Became a Reality
~ Le Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval
by Jo Anne Marquardt
Plage des Lutins, Île de Noirmoutier
In our next issue:
The Bookshelf: A review of
Les Parisiennes - How the Women of Paris Live, Loved,
and Died Under Nazi Occupation
by Anne Sebba
Small Towns and Charming Villages
you'll want to visit
newsletter is best viewed best with a Firefox
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" . . . The Sea, once it
casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.."
BY THE SEA, BY THE SEA, BY THE BEAUTIFUL SEA . . .
Western France has a very long Atlantic coastline, the largest forest in Europe, islands
just off shore for exploring, towns both large and small, and perhaps the perfect place
to spend your vacation nearly any time of year. Boasting excellent weather and blessed
by the Gulf Stream, Atlantic France is a diverse and popular destination.
We are resurrecting a past article, with some updates of course, to introduce you
to this very pleasant French region.
Atlantic Coast of France
Île de Noirmoutier . . .
We recommend driving south on the D213 through Pornic, a once fortified town and now a popular resort, as far as Bourgneuf-en-Retz along the Baie de Bourgneuf. It is here that the road forks to the right, becoming the D758. Continue to Beauvoir-sur-Mer where there is a road, Passage du Gois, to reach the Île only during low tide (the D948), But, to play it safe, drive bit farther on the D22 direction la Barre de Monts and Fromentine. You can reach the Île easily from here.
approach to the island is over a bridge and along a fairly narrow spit
of land before you reach the larger part of the island.
Highlights are the town of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île which has an
incredible ancient church built in 677 on the site of an abbey built
three years earlier (Église St-Philbert) across from an
imposing fortress, and the smaller town of Bois de la Chaise where you
can dine or enjoy the Baie beach. Beautiful little beaches can be
accessed around the island, and a large marina is at Port de
. . and Sea Salt
The island is
most famous for growing potatoes and harvesting sea salt. As
we were leaving the island, we stopped at a small stand whose salt is
very fine (Fleur de Sel),
unlike the coarser salt we found in Brittany's
Guérande. Why is French sea salt so special? It has
been harvested as far back as the year 868 in Guérande, and that
town and the nearby islands of Noirmoutier and Ré have the only
remaining, traditionally hand-harvested salt marshes in France.
In Noirmoutier, the salt is called Sel
Marin de Noirmoutier. It is harvested using a lousse a de fleur (rake) from salt
beds that have occurred naturally as channels filled with sea water;
the salt in the water is air and sun dried after the tide recedes and
then accumulates in shallow ponds. Originally, women only were
allowed to harvest the salt as it was felt that men were too rough with
the rakes. The salt crystallizes in two layers: the coarse
and heavier salt settles to the bottom and the Fleur de Sel, finer gourmet salt,
floats to the top. Chefs the world over prize the Fleur de Sel, not using it for
cooking, but for finishing a dish.
continued on page 2
LOOK INSIDE . . with a click
> to read more about the Atlantic Coast of France from the Vendée to the Pyrénées-Atlantiques ~ the towns, the beaches and the wonderful sea.
~> follow Jo Anne Marquardt as she fulfills her dream to see the incredible construction by a dedicated postman in the département of the Drome. You will be amazed.
> and learn about France's housing market in the months to come from Charlie Heckstall-Smith whose expertise is in the Côte d'Azur.
> and perhaps find an event or activity that interests you in the US or France in our Ici et Là column ~ and be sure to see our newest Ici et Là feature: Did You Know?
FRANCE On Your Own is always open
to receiving articles from our readers
about their experiences in France. We
can't guarantee when we will publish
those we accept, but we will do our best to
include them for our other readers to enjoy.
[No payments are made for submissions used, but
we will promote your France-related book or project.]
TONGUES . . .
contributed by Arthur Gillette
Welcome to Twisted Tongues, a French word game everyone can play. Can you come up with the correct translation of the phrase in question? You'll be surprised by how it differs from what you first thought it meant.
from our Autumn issue: "Quelle salade!" Does that mean
"What a salad!"? Yes, it is a nice phrase to compliment
your dinner hostess, but in slang it means "What a mess!".
Phrase: "J'ai la dent." Does that mean
"I have a tooth"? Literally, yes, although it is never used that
way. In slang it is much
different. Can you
Look for the correct translation in our Spring 2017 newsletter. Have fun!
will continue to include Arthur
Gillette's "Twisted Tongues" in our newsletter
For the experience of a
lifetime make your next French bed and
Click here or
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