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14 Rue Édouard-Grimaux, 86000 Poitiers, France
A former church was transformed into a hotel to spectacular effect. Here's a view from the breakfast room balcony down into the restaurant. The rooms contain various architectural elements of the church. My room, up in the vaulted ceiling was a...
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10 Place Alphonse le Petit Palais des comtes du Poitou et Ducs d'Aquitaine, 86000 Poitiers, France
Now inside Poitier's Palace of Justice, this vast hall was part of Eleanor of Aquitaine's palace. It was said to be so big that the sound of footsteps was lost - thus the name. Don't miss the t huge, carved fireplaces at one end. It's free to...
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14 Rue Édouard-Grimaux, 86000 Poitiers, France
In the soaring space of this former chapel, you can get a reasonably priced, beautifully prepared fixed price meal. Delicious and fresh! There's also a Cognac bar where you can imbibe after dinner, too.
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44 Rue de la Cathédrale, 86000 Poitiers, France
The Grand Rue (in reality, a rather narrow little street) in Poitiers has a number of artisanal businesses. This one specializes in hand-made umbrellas. With one of these overhead, I don't think a rainy day would ever get me down!
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La Rochelle, France
La Rochelle is a bustling seaside town in Northwest France. It's well worth spending a relaxed day wandering the streets of this French coastal city, on the Bay of Biscay. Walk along the Vieux Port, the heart of the city, and stop for an ice cream...
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20-30 Rue Rambaud, 17000 La Rochelle, France
Yes, really -- this is a Best Western! They're quite different in Europe from the U.S. This one is in a lovely old "hotel particular" (private house). The real bonus is the hidden garden in the back, where you can have a drink or breakfast. TIP:...
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Rue Pernelle, 17000 La Rochelle, France
This is one of the towers that guards the port of La Rochelle, Climb up for great views of the old city, the port and the Atlantic Ocean - and to see the ancient interior rooms. Afterward, reward yourself with a seafood feast at one of the...
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5 Rue St Jean du Pérot, 17000 La Rochelle, France
Amazing, fresh seafood is a real bargain in La Rochelle. I slurped up oysters, shrimp, langoustines and snails at this classic portside restaurant.
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Quai Louis Prunier, 17000 La Rochelle, France
La Rochelle has an excellent aquarium, with displays full of French flair and creativity. At one point, you walk across a floor where projected fish are swimming and they dash away from your feet. I could have spent all afternoon playing with it....
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Rue Pernelle, 17000 La Rochelle, France
As a port city, La Rochelle always had wealth. In fact, there's plenty of medieval bling to be seen on the houses. There are gargoyle downspouts (usually only seen on churches elsewhere). There are special half-timbered houses, with the timbers...