A gust of cool breeze teased my burning face and I was already regretting wearing the winter coat I bought in Toronto. I could feel my hands getting damp under the gloves when I realized that I was overdressed for the weather. But that was the last thing that bothered me at that moment. I was so happy to see clear stoned paved streets without any snow on them (I had left Toronto in the worst case of a snowstorm, temperature lowering to almost -40 degrees).
If a Torontonian was to come to La Rochelle at this time, she/he would tell you that the weather is more like late spring or early summer, except for the chilly winds in Toronto. However, La Rochelle does get windy sometimes, especially when it is raining. Rains over here are unpredictable. Particularly today, when I and my friend got into a shop for ten minutes and came out to only see the street wet which was dry before we entered the shop.
Before coming to La Rochelle, I thought that it would be a highly commercialized city as it is a seaport, with lots of businesses and an overcrowded population.
But after I reached here, the serenity and beauty of this city made me spellbound. This city is preserved amazingly with buildings dating back to as much as the 12th century.
I was very much worried about the language barrier. I only know a few sentences in French and this was bothering me. But the people of La Rochelle are really helpful and almost everyone speaks in English. Well, obviously Google translation does come in handy.
My apartment is right in the city center so everything is at my doorstep. There are three restaurants/bars right outside my building, which is sometimes annoying when you have to wake up in the middle of the night because of the party outside. Otherwise, every kind of shop like, chocolatier, bakeries, grocery shops, and of course designer shops, are within walking distance.
However, my school is 20 minutes’ walk from home. Well, the walk is worthwhile, with all the shops and buildings you get to see on the way (also trying to be healthy??). Sometimes, I take the bus, costing me 1.30 Euros.
The only problem that I have faced until now is the plug socket. In France, it is circular and cylindrical as opposed to a flat in Canada.
I had a really difficult time to find an adapter in shops nearby. So, I and my friend had to go to a big supermarket called Hyper U to find it. We got lucky.
Overall, I feel La Rochelle is the place to be. This time of year is a low season and the city is quiet. I am excited to see when it comes out in full colours.