Sunday, 6 November 2011

Lack of cairn on Île de Ré.

Back to our visit to Île de Ré... Some of the main tourist attractions on the island are its soaring lighthouses. We visited the ones at the most  northerly point, la Phare des Baleines which stand proudly beside its smaller predecessor.

The 57-metre high 'The Phare des Baleines ' (left) - was built in 1854 to replace the original lighthouse at 21 metres high built in 1682. The lighthouse has a 257 step spiral staircase which you can climb to reach the viewing balcony at he top where the views are, we believe, spectacular. We decided against the climb,tempting as it was, as after all the tower climbing and street trawling in La Rochelle our legs and feet weren't up to it.

The beach immediately behind the lighthouse has become haven for cairn (a man-made pile of stones) builders with hundreds of examples built by a variety of people and changing from day to day.


On the day we visited the tallest cairn we was pretty impressive and finely balanced, towering over all who surveyed it.

That is until this bunch came along and they all proceeded to pose beside it, individually, in pairs, trios and every possible combination, If they took one photograph they must have taken 20 - its a pile of stones for goodness sake!  As soon as they started leaning against and touching the stones everyone around them knew what was going to happen- and it did. The picture above shows them trying to keep the remnants of  it balanced. They failed, so what did they do?

Take more pictures of course -
"This is us by the best cairn on the beach after we reduced it to insignificance." 


  1. Its a great place. when we were there in August we walked around the Écluses de l'Île de Ré just as the tide was coming in... Great Fun.. We wondered if the cains survive the winter storms. Great place.

  2. We visited this area in July. It is a great place and I loved the cairns although I didn't build any. Lucky you living in France.