We didn’t have breakfast at the place we stayed in Saintes. Instead we went to a nearby Boulangerie and bought pastries which we picnicked on down the road a bit.
We were heading towards the town of Rochefort which isn’t very far from Saintes. But first we decided to explore the island of Ile d’Oléron. Based on the amount of parking we saw it must be a very busy place in the summer. We parked first on the west side of the island and walked along the coast.
Ile d’Oléron is famous for its mussel and oyster farming. We saw farms everywhere. We drove over to the east coast and walked down to the water to see some of the mussel farms. Mussels grow on ropes attached to piling.
After leaving Ile d’Oléron we drove about half an hour to the Pont Transbordeur in Rochefort. It’s very near where we are staying. The Pont Transbordeur is a massive structure that was built around 1900. It allows a gondola suspended from a trolley to ferry people across the estuary of the river without hindering shipping.
For dinner we went to o small local restaurant in Rochefort, Les Béatilles. It felt like a quintessential French experience. The two waiters were very friendly and helpful and the food was wonderful.