The capital city of our region, Charente. Located about 20 minutes east of Jarnac, it's the city we go to for more action and shopping for things we don't have in Jarnac. With a population of over 100000 in the greater area, you are bound to find more stores and places with less common products. When you come and visit us from from Paris, you'd take the TGV to Angouleme, a mere 2 1/2 hours from the capital.
While gritty looking on the outset with a suburban area that is not so well kept up, once you do get up the ramparts into the plateaued inner city, it's a fantastic place to be. A 360 degree view as you walk around the city, wide into the country side, great architecture, a large pedestrian zoned area with lots of great Cafes and restaurants, quiet squares with churches, it's all there.
And more. Their Market hall is much larger than all others in the area and what I like most about that market, it has two sit down places where you are able to enjoy freshly prepared food or just a glass of wine.
I mean it's not Carcassonne, but Angouleme has it's own character from a rich industrial history. Most famous for it's past paper and pulp industry (it's still there, but not as prominent nowadays), today people in France recognize Angouleme for the annual Comic festival and a vintage car race held on the roads of the city. This race is very popular with car enthusiasts, since you are able to be so close to the action. This fall we plan to go as well, after having missed it last year.
With the influence of comic strip artists you do find some great sculptures and even the Graffiti is edgier than in other places we have been to. A university with it's student population makes it a great place for live music, not that we have been to any concerts yet, but I read about them in the daily papers.
The town even has an airport, which currently is without regular service, but a Canadian company has bought it and has plans to revive regular air traffic to Great Britain and other countries. When? No idea.
For sure if you are in the Charente and tired of lazing around the pool, Angouleme is worth the trip.
DRIVING UP THE HILL
LOOKING TOWARDS JARNAC
A GREAT MARKET
CAFE INSIDE THE MARKET
FROM THE DORDOGNE (I HOPE)
DECENT INDIAN FOOD TO BE FOUND IN ANGOULEME
ALMOST LUNCH TIME
OUR FAVORITE STORE
THE COURT HOUSE. OF COURSE WITH A PATIO CAFE....
THE RACE ALONG THE REMPARTS OF ANGOULEME
SUBTLE. NOT SO SHRILL AS IN AMERICA
EVEN IN COLOR IT'S LESS LOUD
WHERE I GET THE BEST (REGULAR) PIZZA IN THE WHOLE CHARENTE