The Transporter bridgeBack to the list
During your trips in the area around the Abri-Côtier campsite, you really have to take the Transporter bridge because the steel structure (similar to the Eiffel Tower) is magnificent.
Built between 1897 and 1900, it is one of the last 8 bridges of this type still working in the world. Classed as a "Historical Monument" in 1976, it has helped pedestrians and cyclists to cross the Charente since 1994, between Rochefort and Echillais.
Crossing over the water
Once you've bought your ticket, call the gondola-driver to position the gondola on your side of the river. Then get on board for a 3 to 4 minute crossing, right over the water: kids just love it.
Once you have crossed, you can stroll among the "Chemin de Charente", a lovely route for walkers, hikers and cyclists. This walk is part of the Sentiers de l'Arsenal, cycling tracks around the campsite.
The Transporter's House and café
Around a hundred metres from the Bridge, on the Echillais side, the Transporter's House puts on exhibitions on different transporter bridges and retraces the Rochefort bridge's history.
On the Rochefort side, the Transporter's café welcomes you for a gourmet treat.
You can continue your trip as far as the Corderie Royale by taking the Fluviobus, a river shuttle from which you can admire the Rochefort Dockyard from the Charente (combined Transporter / Fluviobus tickets are available).
Dramatised visits and 1900 route
On many occasions, as for the Rochefort en Accords festival, the Transporter Bridge is a location for musical and festive entertainment. Furthermore, every Thursday in the summer season, dramatised visits to the Transporter Bridge are organised: period costumes and fun entertainment plunge you into the bridge's history.
To remain in the Belle Epoque world, you could also continue your journey back through time to visit the Musée des Commerces d'Autrefois (Yesteryear Professions Museum) thanks to a joint ticket (on sale at the Transporter Bridge).
For a complete bike trip
If you wish to complete a full circuit by bike from the campsite by following the Sentiers de l'Arsenal, be aware that you can firstly cross the Charente from the port of Soubise (4km from the campsite) by taking the "Rohan" a ferry that can take 11 passengers and their bikes as far as the Rochefort cove (behind Lagunage, a paradise for aquatic birds). You can then return along the banks of the Charente by taking the Transporter Bridge.
Photo and video credits:Myrabella Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-4.0, © CMT17 E. COEFFE, Webtv17