Room with a view, Saintes, 2017

Driving into Saintes turned out to be easier than many French towns of similar size. No Medieval streets to navigate and there was a convenient public parking lot just a block away. Our B&B also had a view over the River Charente across the street.  It was really hot though. Must have been mid-nineties that day and we nearly collapsed after hauling our luggage the whole block and then up the steps to our room.

Our B&B, Le Chambre d’Hotes La Rotonde, was a very nice older stone house. There was no air conditioning during our visit, but they provided a fan and there were windows to open.

On our second day, we also had a view over the river. Through a “mix-up”, our reserved room for which we had paid a small extra amount for a superior room with a view had been given to someone else, which left us to spend one of our two nights in a standard room with no view. This is something that does seem to happen at least once or twice each trip and appears to be the cost of staying in small, non commercial hotels. Despite that downer the second day made up for it. Breakfast was old style French with really great products but no hot food.

Getting out of our little room the first day, we visited the Cathedral of Saint Peter. Interesting for its history of being burned by the Protestants during the Wars of religion. The vaults were never replaced. Of course some part of this church is a remnant of an ancient Cluniac Abbey itself seized by the state from the Monks. The cloister and one transept arm remain from earlier happier days.

On the second day, we were given the room we had reserved. It was as promised, spacious, light, and airy with a great view
The River Charente idling by our window
Roman Ruins abound throughout Sainte mixed with Monasteries, churches and lovely houses Saintes is one of the richest towns for its size in France. Here the Triumphal Arch remains in good condition.
This former Abbatoir has been converted into a museum of ancient Roman bits and pieces and next to it are the remains of the Roman Road and Forum.
The Chemin de St Jaques passes along the east bank of the Charente and heads to the Abbey of St Eutrope on the west Bank.
The tower of the Abbey of St Eutrope dominates the skyline of the town.
Walking the Camino
The beautiful garden across the street from the Abbey Aux Dammes provided relaxation and colorful dispays of flowers.

The river with barges moored along the sides invites us to wander one of the many French waterways.

La Rotonde B&B

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