La RochelleThe next day, we worked our way south west to the Bay of Biscay and the port city of La Rochelle. This was the place most of the pioneers left for New France in the early 1600s. It is concevable that my ancestors may have seen the entry towers as their last sight of France as they departed in 1640 to populate the city of Quebec.

We took an afternoon walk near the port, had some wine and a charcuterie and cheese platter as we watched people walk along the old port and enjoyed the end of the day.

We decided to return the next day so we could visit the exhibit on the French Canadians. Unfortunately the exhibit was over. We had already paid for a tour, so we visited the medieval lighthouse which was used as a prison for several centuries. The exhibit mostly drew attention to the graffiti or engravings left on the walls by prisoners over the centuries. We climbed to the top of the spire and took in the view, very quickly, as I just didn’t trust this 800 yrs old structure.

La Rochelle medieval tower