Europe Trip Journal – Entry 3&4: Nantes & La Rochelle


This post is a little bit delayed. Yesterday, after having a petit-dej’ with a room mate I took the metro to get to the train station for my next journey. I tried capturing the atmosphere in the metro with a sound recording.

Metro atmosphere

Arriving at the gate, I then took the train from Paris Montparnasse to Nantes further to the west. This was my first ride on the TGV. At first it was a bit uncomfortable, as the train was rushing through tunnels at ~300km/h, which caused pressure differences in the cabin which were quite noticeable in the ears. But soon there were less and less tunnels.

Two hours later the train stopped at Nantes. I had no idea where to go first, so I walked straight into the nearby park, the Jardin des Plantes. What a beautiful place to hang out.

My next objective was to find a place to sleep, so I went to the next auberge de jeunesse (youth hostel), only to find that the place had been transformed into a refugee camp. So I had to find something else.

A 5km walk away from the train station was a hostel which I could book a room in. This has so far been my most expensive stay so far, so I hope from now on I will always find more affordable youth hostels. Arriving at my room I was exhausted and spent the rest of the day in bed. At least this night I could sleep very well 🙂

The next morning I woke up, had breakfast and after a video call I went to the Gare du Nantes train station. On the way I once again meandered through the Jardin des Plantes and admired beautiful plants and ponds.

At the train station, I once again wondered how French trains could all be so punctual. This is not how I know it from Germany, where its much more common that trains are delayed or even cancelled completely.

Then it was time to board the IC train to La Rochelle. During the ride, an elderly french woman sat across from me. She fiddled with an insulating drinking bottle seal, which would not let any coffee out. She got so grumpy and even though I barely understand french, I knew she was cursing. At some point she noticed that I was amused, and that in turn made her sneer.

Arriving at La Rochelle, I went to the youth hostel, but it was still closed. It would open up in 2 hours, so I figured it would be best to go to the beach.

After I got nearly sunburned, it was time to check into the hostel, but right after that, I went out again, bought sunscreen in a local super market and went back to the beach where I stayed until the sun started to go down.

A very stony beach

On the way back I followed a path over a small cliff coast. As I am now starting to get used to, everything was lovely planted and neatly trimmed.

I’m thinking of staying another day here in La Rochelle. But now I will try to get some sleep 🙂

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