I have had a message from a regular blog reader in the USA saying that he has read the book, reads the blogs, and has absolutely no idea what La Rochelle looks like! Obvious really. So today will be a double posting, and this blog is simply comprised of photos of La Rochelle. Home to goblins, a myriad of snakes, and some really slow-moving staff (unless they have just stepped on a snake, of course). But home all the same.
The photos today are courtesy of Sue Mcann - who was asking inane questions during Superbowl - as long-time readers will remember. I have used her pics because a) her camera is better than mine, and b) she took them over the course of a short stay here - so this is effectively 'a day in the life of La Rochelle'.
The first two pics are of la Rochelle - the prominent feature of which is obviously the tower.
Because of the variety of plants - there is always something in flower in the garden, and because Sue, though very competent, is a girl, she took lots of flower pics! In the background is the hotel veranda - where many of the worlds problems have been solved over a beer. And more than a few problems created, I would imagine!
The next pic is looking down at the hotel from below my house - you can just see the brass bell on the corner of the building which tells the gardeners when to break for lunch etc. Most of them don't have watches (though they all have a cellular phone these days!) and the bell can be heard all over the property.
This is looking back at the hotel - and the reason I included this pic is because it shows some of the palms. There are 8 varieties of palm here, and over 165 different trees - many of them 'exotics' - having been brought here from other countries by the Courtaulds, whose home this once was.
This is looking from the hotel down towards the maze. La Rochelle had what must have been the only decent maze in Zim - a sneaky affair which required you to turn outwards at one point in order to get to the center. Over time, unfortunately, the conifers grew to the point that the foliage at the base was perpetually in shadow, the lower branches died, and the maze was lost. You can see the pointy tops in the background.
This is the 'Bridal Bridge' - located in the gardens. This is where we hold all our wedding ceremonies, and the Bride makes her way across the bridge and is married on the other side of the river. (The 'river' is approximately 2 feet across, and home to loads of pythons that we have released in the Dell over the years - but we never tell the brides that, and so far - no problems!). And in the trees above - is that, could that possibly be, maybe.....a vine snake? Nah! It's just a snaky vine!
So - there you go. La Rochelle