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    After Garonne River and Dordogne River join in Bordeaux area, they take the name of Gironde, which, after a course of 70km, flows into Atlantic. It is the largest estuary in Europe, 70km long and 12km wide at the top.
    The Médoc with its Grands Crus of red wine (Latour, Margaux, Lafitte, Mouton…) is located on the left bank whereas the right bank is more varied: wine yards of course (Bordeaux and cognac) but also cliffs with cave dwellings and marshlands rich in bird life.
    Between the banks, the Conservatoire du Littoral (wildlife protection) now mostly runs a series of sandy islands; some of them are part of the fortification program by Vauban (XVIIth).
    Since the estuary is no more a river but not yet the ocean, you feel like to be in a kind of in-between, looking at tankers or bulk carriers as well as local fishing boats, smacks or ferries.
    Until 1950 there were many sturgeons (here called créac) in these waters and the caviar business was flourishing but the overfishing was a calamity so that the species had almost disappeared. Now strictly forbidden, the population is growing up again.

    As a start,pictures of carrelets.
    The carrelet is a net hung up over the waters from a cabin built on piles.A winch makes it going up and down the sea to catch the fish,eels being the more appreciated ones.
    Those structures are iconic of the estuarian landscape even though some of them can be seen in Italy.
    The big storms of 1999 and 2010 distroyed many of them but they were rebuilt in respect with the Authorities rules:"all in wood,sheet metal roof accepted".



      All shots from the right bank between Blaye and Mescher.


      • yvneac
        yvneac commented
        Editing a comment
        Maybe Bordeaux could be twin towned with Singapore?

      • ombugge
        ombugge commented
        Editing a comment
        OK Accepted. Bring some wine when you come to settle the deal.

      • yvneac
        yvneac commented
        Editing a comment
        Great,OK.I order a barrel!

      The citadel of Vauban


        From its rich past (harbour business, wine, grain trade) Blaye preserves many stoned frontages.

        This one is owned by a South African felt in love with the town.


          Esteys (from the local Gascon language meaning brook) are located all along the estuary.
          Un estey is a tiny harbour at the end of a small river which, at low tide, is dried up.


            Not so usual on the French coasts, this kind of net is called "pibalon" (une pibale -or civelle- is the alevin of eel). Extremely regulated fishing.


              TALMONT SUR GIRONDE.

              Sainte Radegonde church 11th

              See more about Talmont


                Cliffs and troglodytique houses.


                  Very nice area and you have done very well at capturing great images from it as well. It kind of reminds me of the Mediterranean and Puerto Rico half a world away.

                  Certainly an interesting destination for those into making paintings and/or taking pictures.

                  Thank you so much for sharing!
                  With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                  Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                  Main page:

                  Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.



                    Almost totally destroyed by bombing in 1945, Royan was rebuilt during the Fifties’ under the supervision of Claude Ferret . Inspired by Oscar Niemeyer’s work in Pampulha, the new district of Belo Horizonte, he elaborated the general plan, seconded by colleagues from the Architecture School of Bordeaux.
                    By refusing the traditional styles dominant before the war both the dogmatist utopia of Le Corbusier, they imagined a new and original way to (re-)build towns in a short delay. Years later the name “Ecole de Royan” has been done to their production.
                    Like Lorient, Le Havre or Saint Nazaire, Royan was a field for concrete experimentation, which was an adequate material to build at low cost, hence the numerous critics and the kind of contempt from people for this enterprise. For a long period, those towns were considered as an aesthetic horror, the best example of “what-is -not-to-do”.
                    However, times are changing. Nowadays, the way we look at 50’s arts is less hostile and we have improved our understanding of it. To such a point that today the real estate prices have increased so, find a villa to buy in Royan at reasonable cost is not an easy thing.

                    Notre Dame de Royan.
                    65 meters high this church is unfortunately closed for the public due to works of consolidation.For economical reasons a concrete of low quality was chosen in 1955.

                    Le marché central (central market)
                    Built in 1955 by the architects L. Simon and In. Morisseau and the engineer René Sarger. It is a round shell in a concrete eight centimetres (3 in) thick. It rests on thirteen peripheral support points without any internal pillar. It is 52.40 metres (171.9 ft) in diameter, and its height in the center is 10.50 metres (34.4 ft). It served as model for the market in Nanterre and the Centre of New Industries and Technologies, or CNIT, in the La Défense neighbourhood of Paris.

                    Under construction


                      PS: in addition,Royan after bombing in 1945


                      • Ralf__
                        Ralf__ commented
                        Editing a comment
                        This is one of the bigger tragedies of these days. Royan was occupied by the Germans and the strategic position at the estuary made it to an important target for the allied troops. But later on it decreased on the priority list and was not listed in the invasion plan of the land based troops. It was only a supplies base for the Germans and had no military force. Somehow it remained as target in the RAF plan, so it was bombed in January 1945 and the bombs fell concentrated on the city and civil areas. 442 of the 2.223 Royan citizens died, while the German troops lost 35 soldiers.
                        Three months later the landbase troops came, assisted by the US Air Force with Napalm bombs and Royan was taken over. They spent 153.500 grenades and more than 10.000 tons of bombs for this action.

                      • yvneac
                        yvneac commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yes Ralf.As said Georges Clémenceau: "War is too serious to be entrusted to the military".

                      If the public monuments were a priority, the architects had also to imagine a new organization of the space for the inhabitants. On the sea front they choose to build large blocks of flats mixed white and primary colors, while the inside neighborhoods where dedicated to individual villas.
                      The main structure was still made of concrete but they played with numerous elements to give to each house its own “personality”. Piles, outside staircases, recess, porch roofs, railings, poles, paving glasses, balconies, game with colors…
                      Today idle in the district of Foncillon is like wander in a 1950' setting, a Jacques Tati’s movie (Monsieur Hulot, Mon Oncle….).
                      Just walk and smell the atmosphere!

                      Sea front



                        A nice walk between Bourg and Blaye on the Corniche de la gironde.


                          A typical house of the area called "girondine" The old washouse at Bourg