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  • Writer's pictureDiana Scalia

A Seemingly Excellent Adventure


It's 4th of July and, Ah oui. So I’m in Les Sables d’Olonne now, a very sweet seaside city with a huge harbor, and a ferry that takes you places. I’ve been here about a week, my home has no WiFi (that will be eventually be remedied, I trust), and Renata spent the weekend here right away – more on that later - and, I don’t feel at home yet.


Today was going to be the first day I’d take the ferry across the bay, to “the other side” where it appears to be more dynamic than La Chaume, the little neighborhood I’m in. I don’t mind La Chaume, I’ve already found excellent places to buy my groceries and dine out. I just haven’t yet found a sweet spot to have my morning coffee and croissant, and we all know how important that is to me. I haven’t quite settled into a rhythm just yet, either.


As for today, I happened to miss the 9:55am ferry, so I had to wait for the 10:20am one. It poured rain in the meantime, making me wish I’d stayed in bed and postponed this excellent adventure until tomorrow.


When I arrived on “the other side”, it took a bit of walking before I could find a place to have some coffee and ideally a croissant. It was nearly 11am. I settled for coffee and a canele’ (like a doughnut, from Bordeaux, yummy). As I was ready to set out again, it began to pour rain.


Fine. Now I decided that I did not need - after all - to shop at Marche’ des Halles Centrales, the grand daily (indoor) marketplace that I hoped would resemble the one in La Rochelle. I had food at home for meals today, I’d just have a look-see in town, and come back another day to grocery shop. I couldn’t bear the idea of lugging groceries home in the pouring rain.


Finding a colorful and inviting shopping street, I spotted a boutique’s sale rack and almost bought a little summer rain jacket. I decided to come back for that later. I also found Etam, a shop for lingerie and swimsuits, also having a sale. I found a couple of things and, their system wouldn’t take either of my credit cards.


Fine. Now I went to hunt for an ATM (the rain had stopped and it was half-sunny now). On my way back to Etam, I found the route to the beach. Right near there was a kebab shop, and I’ve been craving kebabs. There was one still-shady bench on the esplanade, and I heard a divine whisper to do this.

The kebab wrap was excellent, the setting was perfect, and it all made me very happy. I returned to Etam via the grand market hall, had a look around, and bought a bottle of Rose’.


The idea of coming home only with new lingerie and a fine bottle of wine sounded like a really wonderful idea.


And so, I did just that. My last stop after the ferry (on which it began to rain) was the Tabac store, where I bought a new 10-ride ticket for the ferry, and conversed to do that, only in French.


Now I’m all set for next time and, come to think of it, my day turned out to be quite nice after all.

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