Two weeks by the Atlantic

The island of Olé­ron is an unk­nown part of Fran­ce for many peo­ple – that is, until they learn that the world-famous Fort Boyard is loca­ted just a few kilo­me­t­res from the island. For us, however, Olé­ron has a dif­fe­rent mea­ning – for seve­ral deca­des now, it has been home to the Aiki­do sum­mer school.
We practi­ced for 12 days, 4 hours a day. Under the gui­dan­ce of tea­cher Gas­ton Nicho­les­si, it’s a gre­at chan­ce to learn some­thing new. And a chan­ce to make memo­ries for the rest of your life.
Just get­ting the­re was a test – the long anti­ci­pati­on of the unk­nown kept us in rap­tu­res, and it did­n’t help that we sat in the car for two days and slept in a rest area by the highway. An inte­res­ting expe­ri­en­ce – the first on our trip and far from the last.
Fran­ce is, after all, a coun­t­ry full of miracles.It’s a challen­ge not to succumb to the allu­re of the oce­an and the beau­ti­ful coun­try­si­de and keep practi­cing. In the after­no­on bre­aks-if it was nice-we went to the water or sight­se­e­ing (we visi­ted the Olé­ron Ligh­thou­se over­lo­o­king the oce­an and the town of Le cha­te­au d’O­lé­ron with its for­tress and art-icon hou­ses in the har­bor), or just rela­xed. In the eve­ning, we all gathe­red to play cards, chat, some tas­ted French wines, others watched the stars in a moment of soli­tu­de. After all, the days were for exer­ci­se, whi­le the nights were for gai­ning new strength.In 2 weeks, many things can chan­ge. Stran­gers will beco­me fri­ends, hated Fran­ce will turn into a poten­tial futu­re holi­day, some will tas­te oys­ters for the first time… so many new life events thanks to Aiki­do. Aiki­do really con­nects peo­ple in eve­ry way (espe­ci­ally at 2am when our tent almost flew away- ple­a­se don’t belie­ve the Ole­ron weather forecast).
Because really… wine, che­e­se, aiki­do and good com­pa­ny- what more could one ask for in a per­fect vacation.