After a week of on and off rainy days, we took advantage of this glorious, Sunday sunshine and headed to the family’s summer home in Saint-Georges-de-Didonne. What a beautiful day it was! Saint Georges is a quaint little town. It is charming, friendly, and busy! Even though we were well into the month of September, there was a buzz felt throughout the town square and along the beach. “Rainy day fever” was being stripped from our minds by the fabulous weather.
“Saint-Georges-de-Didonne is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France. And important seaside resort of Royan and the coast of Beauty, on the right bank of the mouth of the Gironde estuary and adjacent Atlantic Ocean, Saint-Georges-de-Didonne is a major economic and tourist centers of royannaise metropolitan city which it is now becoming a residential suburb.” – Wikipedia
We began our day walking past the center square, which is adjacent to the church. The church of Saint- Georges was originally constructed in the 12th century, but most of what is left now dates to the 19th century. We continued on to the marché to pick up a few items for our evening dinner: fresh oysters, “crevettes roses”(little pink shrimp), some bulots (similar to snails) and “la Jonchée” cheese. Check back in a few days as I will be writing a special post on this unique, rare cheese.
Following our little stroll, we decided to have lunch at a tapas restaurant close to the house. The owner and chef is from Spain. She served up some traditional tapas for our starter, then continued to delight our taste buds with our main dishes. I choses the “plancha” of seafood…a must with the fresh variety one can find daily in this area. A bottle of rosé from the Vendée region, located just a bit north of the Charente-Maritime, was the perfect companion. We ended our meal with creamy ice cream…my choice was the “fleur de sel” caramel! Yum!! We had our coffee and cognac back at the house. With lunch completed, and dinner purchases safely in the refrigerator, it was time to get outside and hit the beach.
Papa and I chose to take a walk heading north along the waterfront towards the lighthouse of Cordouan -France’s oldest lighthouse. “Cordouan lighthouse is an active lighthouse located 7 km at sea, near the mouth of the Gironde estuary in France. At a height of 223 feet (68 m) it is the tenth tallest “traditional lighthouse” in the world.The Tour de Cordouan, the ‘Patriarch of Lighthouses’, is by far the oldest lighthouse in France. It was designed by leading Paris architect Louis de Foix, and is something of a Renaissance masterpiece, an amalgam of royal palace, cathedral and fort. Started in 1584 and finished in 1611, it still stands today.” – Wikipedia
After circling back towards the main beachfront, I continued walking in the opposite direction for a couple of kilometers. As I reach the far end of the beach I decided to make my return walk barefoot through the water. In spite of walking over 5 miles that afternoon, I felt energized, yet relaxed. Fresh sea air, warmth from the sun, a satisfied stomach after our scrumptious lunch…a truly perfect day all around.