Oradour-sur-Glane, La Rochelle and Nantes, France. – Europe Road Trip

La Rochelle, France - Graffiti - Mainland Europe Road Trip Route

Day 82 – Oradour-sur-Glane

This has to be one of the most surreal places. On the 10th of June 1944, Nazi soldiers surrounded the town, ordering all of the women and children in the church and all of the men into 6 different barns and garages. They shot all the men in the legs, doused them in petrol and set fire to the barns and garages, before setting fire to the church. 642 people died, with only 5 people escaping. 4 men and 1 women. The town has been left exactly as it was found. There’s still burnt out bed frames, pots and pans and sewing machines littered in the houses. Cars are left in the middle of the road, bicycles in the garages of houses and most chillingly, a buggy in the church.

You can walk around the town and see what it now looks like. Plaques have been put up to show you where all of the shops/facilities were and who they belonged to including the butches, bakery, tram station, restaurants etc. There’s also 6 plaques around the town to show you were the groups of men were murdered. Some houses have plaques listing the inhabitants names and ages to commemorate them more personally.

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There’s also a memorial in the graveyard which you can also walk around. As we left the graveyard you can go down into a little museum that has a collection of smaller personal items, such as children’s toys, cutlery, ID cards and letters, pocketwatches and money.

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It was another sombre day, but a really interesting visit. We headed back to the van, packed up and moved onto a park and ride on the outside of La Rochelle; a little seaside town recommended to us by a number of people.

Day 83 – La Rochelle

The bonus of paying to park in the park and ride is you get a free bus ticket! Woooo…

As we’re under 26, yet again we could go inside the towers for free. When you’re in you have to keep an eye out for graffiti from prisoners and pirates dating back to the 16th Century. There’s also a lot of idiots who think it’s fun to write their own names on the wall too, but it’s quite obvious what is original. The tower provides a great view for people watching over the city from the top.

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Once we had finished the tower, we were drawn in to the other graffiti in the area which is crazy, bright and colourful. 36-SAM_1341 37-SAM_1343

There was also an incredibly old and rickety carousel dating from 1883. It genuinely looked like it was going to fall apart!

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We then headed through the small market that was happening. It was a craft market, so there were all manner of amazing things that you could buy: paintings, sculptures, and jewellery. Our favourite was the giant shark sculpture made of wire and stones, but for £1,300 we couldn’t quite afford it. We did have a hilarious giggle at the dog show that was also happening. A couple with 5 dogs, 3 mice, 2 cats and 2 birds had set up a little performance with their crazy animals.

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We then headed for a cruise around the shops, including finding another shop that was full of things you didn’t even know you needed! After avoiding buying lots of things we headed back to the park and ride, had some dinner, packed up and moved onto a free spot at La Roche-sur-yon. This was a quiet little shady spot in a little town and our plan was to move on the following morning.

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Day 84 – Nantes Lazy Day 

We left La Roche-sur-yon the following morning and headed to McDonalds to pick up Wifi. We’d had quite a few questions and requests regarding selling the motorhome so we spent some time booking people in and answering questions. We’ve set up a couple of people to come and view the van on Sunday after we’re back, so cross your fingers that one of those will take it.

We then drove onto Nantes where we basically chilled in the site we’d parked in. The weather was a little miserable and we had time to kill until we moved onto Tisha’s so we opted to chill and go into Nantes tomorrow. We did have one problem though. We had no food and there was nothing open as it was a Sunday. It was a good laugh trying to through together whatever we had left in various different forms, but we made it!

Make sure you out more of my posts on our Europe Road Trip across 3 months, 7,000 miles and 15 countries. To see our full route, click here.

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