Sunday, 29 July 2012

Phare des Baleines, Île de Ré revisited

We have just had a weekend at the coast, staying on the outskirts of La Rochelle. Whilst there we revisited Île de Ré and in particular, it's northern tip where the famous lighthouse, Phares des Baleines, is situated.  The lighthouse was constructed in 1854 by the architect Léonce Reynaud, to replace a smaller tower which had proved to have insufficient range of illumination for ships to sail safely in the area. More can be read about the lighthouse here.

The last time we were there the queues to go up the lighthouse so we gave it a miss.This time we were lucky and, having paid our 3euros each, we began the ascent to the top.

Concentrating on  watching our footing we both missed counting the steps, but three French sisters supplied the information for us. After some deliberation they settled on a compromise - 265 steps! We could have sworn it was twice that many but hadn't the energy to argue the toss!

But when we stepped out onto the platform at the top there were breath-taking views..

We could have spent all afternoon admiring the views but unfortunately we had to make way for others, and so it was through the tiny wooden door...

to begin our descent..

And just to prove we did it...

Our stay on the coast was short but full of interest and we'll be posting more in coming days.


Diane said...

Not sure if I would make it up to the top but the view is stunning. I want to go to La Rochelle, I believe it is quite beautiful. Have a good week Diane

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Oh yes, Diane, it really is a lovely place. We're going to try and go later in the year for the day (it's only a couple of hours drive from here) and see what it's like at a quieter time of year.... Will let you know!