What to do in the Vendée (Part 3) – Challans in Bygone Days - Al Fresco Holidays
Sorry, it’s been some time since I have written about this area, as I have been very busy publishing our reps’ blogs instead. That’s a very valid reason, in my opinion, as they are providing very useful up-to-date information on and around our campsites.
Anyway – for Part 3, I highly recommend “Autrefois Challans” – Challans, which is the second largest town in The Vendée, as it was 100 years ago. This takes place on 4 Thursdays, 2 at the end of July (21st and 28th, this year) and 2 in August (11th and 18th, this year). It is well worth a visit. We have never been to anything like it. The whole town takes part in changing it to look like it is from the 1920’s. There is so much to see, for adults and children alike. And many activities are free, so it does not have to be an expensive day out.
The children can have a go at “salt-marshing”, try a quail’s egg, or watch bread being made in an outdoor oven. There are old cars on parade; an old wedding; horse-and-cart rides and many, many more things.
All the usual eating places are open, but in our opinion, a much better alternative is to eat in one of the marquees, where a traditional 1920′s style meal (eg the local “white” ham and beans-but not in a tomato sauce, dessert and a drink) is served by traditionally dressed waitresses.
You can easily spend the whole day here, but try to plan your day by obtaining a timetable, maybe from the tourist information office, giving the times of set activities such as a wedding, a school classroom and vintage cars parade. Then fit in other things around those. Sadly, while we were there, we only had chance to visit it on one of the days. A rep’s life is a hard life! But we would love to have gone back a second time to see all the things we missed. The children will love it. And the adults too.
Please let us know how you go on!
Kind regards, Pauline