The Marais Poitevin is such a pretty place and it’s a place to take things slow. Marais means marsh in English, but its also called Venise Verte or Green Venice because it’s made up of natural water channels with some man-made as well, covering 375 square miles. We got a cycle map from the tourist office and choose cycle route No 9. The routes were well signposted, so we could just plod along without getting the map out every 5 minutes. Coulon is very picturesque but very touristy, it would be far too busy in July and August for us, but September was not to bad. After leaving Coulon the paths were so quiet, we even had some of them to ourselves. There are loads of walks or you can hire a boat to explore the channels or go on a guided tour. The houses along the edges are so beautiful, what a peaceful place to live. Back in Coulon there was a historical display of jousting, troop movements, amour and uniforms etc, but it was the ladies playing a game caught my eye. Long before Playstations and XBoxes the French invented a game called French Hoops. The bottom photo shows a lady playing it and it apparently helped to develop feminine grace. When the game arrived in America it was called La Grace.