Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The Embarcadero (we use the Spanish word in English, how odd*), or the waterfront. St.-Aignan's waterfront is a relatively modern development. In the medieval days, a wall ran along the river; there was no roadway.

The western waterfront. Part of the château is on the right and the collégiale church is on the left.

But now there is a small quay and a new roadway that takes modern traffic around rather than through the center of town. There's also a small allée of plane trees to spiff it up a bit.

An antiques dealer with courtyard parking.

During the summer months, a pleasure boat gives rides to tourists from St.-Aignan upriver and back. I've seen it operating, but I've never actually taken a ride. Another thing to do one of these days.

The pleasure boat docked at the embarcadère.

There is one restaurant on the waterfront called, curiously enough, L'Embarcadère. It's a café/bar/restaurant that was taken over by new owners a few years ago. The décor was updated as was the menu. And it ain't half bad!

Restaurant l'Embarcadère.

The second restaurant on the waterfront is in the Grand Hôtel, which also has new owners recently. The restaurant bills itself as "traditional;" it's classic French with local specialties. We've eaten there before it was re-done, but not since. We don't go out to eat much! But, again, one of these days I'm sure we'll find an occasion to try it out.

Le Grand Hôtel de St.-Aignan.

Other businesses along the waterfront include banks, insurance offices, a real estate office, an antiques dealer, and a medical lab. You can also find St.-Aignan's only regional bus stop there, and two of the town's three traffic signals are at either end of the waterfront street, which is called Quai Jean-Jacques DeLorme.

Bank branches below the château.

There are many private residences along the waterfront as well. Some are big maisons bourgeoises (townhouses) with courtyards facing the river. Others are smaller, more modest buildings. Most are lived-in, although the traffic along the street must be rather noisy.

Une maison bourgeoise.

*Maybe it's just in California that the Spanish word is used. I don't know.


  1. We wouldn't go out to eat much either, if we cooked as well as you two!

  2. Great pix today. Love the waterfront. I think "embarcadero" is a cool word, but I never heard it until San Francisco.

  3. woo hooooo, pleasure boat cruise!! I would really enjoy that! We always love to do that kind of thing. There's something peaceful about cruising along the river. We took a new Mississippi/Illinois rivers cruise boat a few weeks ago, and we had a feisty Asian Carp jump right into the boat! These things are crazy, and there are pockets of them invading the Mississippi (causing all kinds of ecological damage, because they don't belong in these waters)... they jump up out of the water-- it's nuts.

    embarcadero is definitely not a common midwest term :))


  4. Spiff, now that's a good word Walt.
    Can I borrow that.
    Excellent pics, makes me want to return to St Ag in the not too distant future.

  5. I clicked on the weather forcast you have on the right side of your blog. It is very detailed. Can people swim in the Cher and do you have beaches?

  6. loved this post, but what is with the English language term of the Spanish word?

  7. Lovely photos and excellent post. We enjoyed our stay in the Grand Hotel a few years ago. It was very old fashioned then.

  8. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a tree???????????? Do you harvest the planes from the plane trees? I there such a thing as a jet tree?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

  9. andy, as you know, we often feel disappointed in restos, thinking that we could have done better at home for so much less money!

    ginny, actually, I never had, either.

    judy, like I said, one of these days!

    leon, absolutely. Feel free.

    nadege, yes and yes. Many of the campgrounds along the river have a beach of some sort. The water is slow moving and crystal clear.

    stephen, San Francisco's waterfront is called the Embarcadero, going back to the city's spanish roots, I guess.

    jean, it's been upgraded now, but it still has that old-fashioned feel.

    cheryl, platanes in french. Remember? From the latin platanus; any of a number of related trees with large leaves and streaky bark that sheds, as the sycamore.

  10. Technically, I think embarcadero just means quay, where the boats dock. In St.-Aignan, l'embarcadère is just that, the little bit of concrete where the boat docks. The street along the waterfront is called the quai.

  11. It took me ten years before I would "cruise" on beateau mouche in Paris. Luckily, when I finally did, I got a boat that wasn't overflowing with tourists. It was most enjoyable.

  12. An embarcadère can be called a pier, wharf, or quay. Fisherman's wharf in San Francisco, for example. It's where passengers and cargo are loaded onto ships.


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