La Rochelle, France
Monday, June 6th we docked in La Rochelle, France. Today was Pentecost Monday aka Whit Monday, a religious holiday in France, so most of the shops were closed.
From the ship there is a nice view of the bridge to Ile de la Re.
This is a commercial port with little facilities. There is nothing within walking distance, so a shuttle needs to be taken into the heart of town, because it’s not allowed to get around on foot in the port area. Although we’ve heard that La Rochelle is a quaint and delightful place to stroll and shop for a few hours with plenty of outdoor cafes, most of them were closed due to the holiday.
John took an excursion “Essence of Cognac” and I stayed on the ship. Due to the holiday most of the shops in La Rochelle were closed. Several folks did get off the ship, though and got a bit wet when a rain storm came through.
John was offered another bottle of wine with dinner from the casino. After dinner we went to the show, the “Flying Scotsman”. He was funny and a good singer. He is also a well known Cruise Director for Carnival.
John took an excursion called “Essence of Cognac”. The tour bus left the ship and went directly to the town of Cognac passing through the French countryside full of vineyards. A bit over an hours drive SouthEast of La Rochelle.
Once in Cognac, they took a short walking tour of Cognac, a peaceful, picturesque little town. The walked through the old streets of the historic center, which boasts numerous 16th & 17th century buildings. The streets were fairly deserted due to this being a holiday. Most all of the shops were closed.
They arrived at the Hennessy distillery and waited in their store until the tour of the distillery began. The history was interesting and he saw how Cognac was distilled. They then toured an aging warehouse for the barrels of cognac. The air was full of the scent of cognac, the “angels share”. The guide noted that people could not get intoxicated from the fumes, but the spiders do. There was Cognac dating back to 1814 in the warehouse.
After the tour was complete they got to sample some Cognac and a mixed drink called a “Sunset” made with Cognac. Very tasty. He purchased some product and plans a tasting party when we get home.
The weather was great during the excursion, upper 60’s and no wind.
La Rochelle & Cognac, France Photos
Tuesday, June 7th was a Sea Day. We had a relaxing day. We went to a presentation by the cruise Director about the upcoming excursions, played scrabble, then Bingo [won a free game when playing Deal or No Deal a couple of days ago]. We didn’t win, but was fun to play.
Tonight was formal night, so we dressed up, got some pictures taken and went to dinner. This was the only formal night we participated in.
Weather was cool, mid 60’s and cloudy.