Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Le Croisic

Well, hello to all. Hope the year of the dog is off to a good start for you. Yesterday took me by train to Le Croisic a town at the end of a Peninsula near the mouth of the Loire river as it empties out into the Atlantic.

Without a tourist insight, I exited the small train station and turned right. The tourist office being closed at the time of my arrival, I spotted a hill with some sort of rock construction at its top. So in order to get an idea of how Le Croisic was laid out I went up to the perch. The top was roped off because of "éboulis" or rock slides but things looked pretty stable ... Le Croisic is a medieval town that has had two periods of expansion. The first resulted from the salt trade. Salt beds inland were developed and trade boomed. Then in the 18th century as the price of salt decreased Le Croisic became a cannery town and thus had a second economic boom. One cannery is still standing today and shrimp are still harvested off shore. In 1735 Mr Pierre Bourguet a hydrographer and Croisicais sailed to present day Ecuador where he spent 10 years and measured a degree of the meridian among other things. His statue with a plaque from the Ecuadoran government is just off the main pier of town. The US Navy had a station in Le Croisic during WWI. Even with the remarkable Gothic church, the historic buildings, colorful ships, and views of the sea, it was Le Croisic's light house, and the 3/4 kilometer jetty leading to it that I found most enchanting. After a half an hour or so at the base of the lighthouse I headed back to the train station where a very French bourgeoise woman and I happened to be running towards the departing train at the same time. cwt


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