We came back from Paris before Bastille Day and decided to spent it on the Atlantic coast, in the family house. This is where I spent most of my summers as a kid and a teen and I hadn’t been back there since 2002. At the time, I was coming back from Australia and New Zealand and I had spent the entire summer almost locked in a room trying to study for my university exams the following September.
This is a sleepy village 45 minutes from Nantes. Its claim to fame is the cookie factory. Other than that, there isn’t much: a roundabout (French love roundabouts and even the smallest village has one), a church, a bar-tabac (a small corner store) and a news agent. I both loved and hated the place as a teen. The beach is only a few minutes’ walk from the house and going there is fun, yet it gets very lonely after a while. Summer seemed to stretch forever: between going to the market and biking to the news agent to buy a magazine once in a while, there wasn’t much to do. I’m the oldest kid in the family and my sister, the second oldest, is 6 years younger than me. I spent entire evenings shouting at a bunch of kids (brother, sister, cousins…) who kept on sneaking into my room and yet I was bored at the grownups table at dinner time.
This was like a blast from the past for me. Feng and I didn’t have a car so we had to walk everywhere, like when I was a teen. Because nobody lives in the house full-time, there is no T.V and no Internet connection. I found most of the magazines I had left the last time I was there, eight years ago. I found my old swimsuit and my old posters. I found peace and quiet.
The coast had been badly damaged by TotalFina’s Erica oil spill in 1999 but little remains of the disaster today. I remember, at the time, there were pools of oils washed upon the shore and it looked like it would never be clean again. I guess ten years have passed…
You can follow our French trip here on Flickr: France (2010).