Royan, Opera House, Canal Cruise & Bee Sting

Spent a wonderful few days with some friends who have a beach house near Royan, a town along the west coast of France towards Bordeaux. Mostly lounged and visited a couple of nearby picturesque villages: Talmont which is known for its small whitewashed houses and 11th century fortified coastal church overlooking white cliffs;

Church of Talmont

Church of Talmont

and Mornac, known for its marshes and oyster beds that jet off of the Seudre river. Both towns are classified with the official designation of being among “the most beautiful villages in France”. I found them both, especially Mornac, quite charming.

Diving in the Seudre River - Mornac

Diving in the Seudre River - Mornac

To see more images from this trip, CLICK HERE.

Took an inside tour of the old Opera house – Opera Garnier. I had seen a couple of shows there before but never really had the chance to see much of the massive interior hallways and rooms.

Opera Garnier

Opera Garnier

As you’d expect for Paris it was pretty outrageous. A bit too overdone for my taste but hard not to be impressed by it. The guide talked WAY too much I’d still say it’s worth checking out.

Opera Garnier

Opera Garnier

Continuing my week of tourism, took a boat cruise along the Canal Saint-Martin. Some visitors don’t know there is a canal that goes through Paris, but there is. It starts close to the Bastille and the first part of it actually goes underground (below the streets) and is kind of eerily lit.

Cruise on Canal Saint-Martin

Cruise on Canal Saint-Martin

The cruise passes through a handful of locks and various styles of footbridges as it progresses along towards Parc de la Villette. I quite enjoyed it and would recommend it to those who have already done the cruise along the Seine.

Entering a Lock on Canal Saint-Martin

Entering a Lock on Canal Saint-Martin

I got stung by a bee this week. I think for the first time in my life. I decided that bees are a bit like suicide bombers in that for the most part, they only get to attack once. I decided to look up more about bees and here’s what I learned. Honey bees die after stinging. The “stinger” is an undeveloped sex organ. Worker bees are undeveloped females, who will develop no further. In the fully developed male, or drone, the stinger is the equivalent of a penis, but it’s not smooth; it has barbs on it and after he mates the barbs hang up in the queen and it gets ripped out of his body, family jewels and all. He dies from the injury, the queen absorbs his “testicles” and they become part of her body, she never has to mate again. Important note: never use tweezers to remove a bee stinger; that will squeeze the attached poison glands and inject more poison,. Try to “flick” it out with a finger nail or even a credit card. ( Then use the card to buy anti-histamines.)

Some photos of the week:

Opera Garnier

Opera Garnier

Cruise on Canal Saint-Martin

Cruise on Canal Saint-Martin

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Second Baseman on August 9, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Absolutely the most beautiful photos I have seen in a while….The town looks so calm and collective and the Opera House is much to much to comment on….Outrageous but magnificent….Enjoy the rest of the trip and company….

    Reply

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