Le Bois de la Chaise is described as a forêt (forest) on the Île de Noirmoutier, on the Atlantic coast of France. It covers only 110 hectares. That's 1.1 square kilometers, or less than half a square mile. The place we found where we could eat our picnic lunch last October 24, when we were spending a week on the coast, was in the Bois de la Chaise. I've been looking again at some of the photos I took there — so here are a couple. Also, chaise means "chair." I don't know why the "forest" is called the "woods of the chair."
Obviously, the French word forêt doesn't have the same meaning as the English word "forest" — at least not in the way we use the term in North America. Anyway, this looks a lot like a scene on the North Carolina coast, thanks to the live oak trees. I don't know if they are the same species, but they must be very closely related. In French they're called chênes verts — "green oaks." They stay green year-round.
I'm not sure what Natasha the Sheltie was doing when I took this photo. That's Walt with the sun on his face. Sorry for the poor image quality. I am sure that the picnic table also looks just like a picnic table you'd see in North Carolina. We were lucky to find one that wasn't already being used. We hadn't yet got our lunch out of the insulated Whole Foods bag we had packed it in early in the morning, before leaving the gîte.
We weren't far at all from the beach. Again, this is the bay side of the island. The body of water is called an anse in French. I knew the term, but I hadn't thought about how it would be translated. I understood it as "an arm of the sea." I just looked it up and found the term "cove" — that's exactly what it would be called in N.C. as well.
Above are the cabines de plage on the nearby Plage des Sableaux. I think we might call them "beach cabanas" but I see the term "beach huts" on English language versions of Noirmoutier tourist sites. They are little cabins where you can change into your bathing costume, with your modesty uncompromised.
Can you tell I felt at home on Noirmoutier island? I keep thinking I might like to live there. It probably won't ever happen — we are too settled here in Saint-Aignan, and we don't have much to complain about. Since Noirmoutier is not more than four hours (170 miles) away by car, maybe the thing to do would be to go back in different seasons and see what it is like at other times of the year.