St. Denis



A few days after we arrived in Reunion, we rented a car to explore more of the island. Our first trip was to the capitol city of St. Denis. Founded in 1668 and named the island capitol in 1738, St. Denis is rich in colonial history with many well-preserved heritage buildings. After spending a few hours exploring the city, we drove the road to La Montagne which for incredible views back into St. Denis and along the coast. The road up was in excellent condition, but was incredibly steep and full of switchbacks–we’ve never driven anything like it.

Trip highlights from September 28th follow. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps

9/28/2015
Garcia

At Garcia car rental to pickup a Peugot 208 to explore the island.
Route du Littoral

The Route du Littora between Le Port and St. Denis runs below dramatic steep cliffs. Judging by the barrier protecting the road, some fairly large rocks fall from the cliffs.
Chain mail

Many of the cliffs along the Route du Littora were strung with a form of chain mail from top to bottom to prevent rocks from hitting the road. That looked like an expensive operation to install.
Drainage ditch

Reunion must get some major rainfall to need drainage canal as big as the one disappearing behind the rails. We’d driven to the eastern edge of town, just to see what was around, and were returning back to the core.
Monument aux morts

We parked the car near the “Monument aux morts” to walk around St. Denis for a few hours. The city, founded in 1668 and named the island capitol in 1738, is rich in colonial history with many well-preserved heritage buildings. Behind the memorial is the old city hall building, completed in 1860. Many consider it the most beautiful building in the city.
Government offices

This renovated 1800s-era building near the waterfront now houses modern government offices. St. Denis has done an impressive job of preserving its architectrual heritage.
Vapiano

We stopped for an excellent pizza lunch with the local brew, Dodo, on the patio at Vapiano near the waterfront.
St. Denis Cathedral

The St. Denis Cathedral dates back to the 1800s.
Consul General

The Consul General building is another beautifully-preserved colonial structure.
Maison de Dodo

The brewery for the local beer, Dodo, just west of the city center.
Kioske des 4 Canons

From St. Denis we could see the road to La Montagne climb steeply up the cliff, so we followed it hoping for some views. The Kioske de 4 Canons was one of several pullouts along the way with incredible view back into St. Denis and along the coast.
Bus

Large buses moved suprisingly quickly up the slope, but took a lot of the road as they rounded the bends. Driving the road in a small car is at least interesting. We have no idea how anyone could possibly get a 40ft bus successfully up it, much less doing regular runs.
Switchbacks

The road up was incredibly steep and full of switchbacks–we’ve never driven anything like it. In the center of the picture you can see two tiers of switchbacks–there’s many more above and below.
Belvedere des 3 Bancs

The amazing view from Belvedere des 3 Bancs. Believe it or not, we’re still not at the top.
Champ de Tir

The road continued to ascend and curve through La Montange and into the mountains, with few pullouts or views until this one at Champ de Tir.
Est Port

Looking to Est Port from the hills above La Possession.

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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