After careful research on Trip Advisor we decided that Saintes was to be our next destination. After fun and games buying a train ticket, (we couldnt figure out the machine and had to use my dreadful french to buy one from the office, thank you nice patient lady at La Rochelle train station :) ) We had breakfast at the little cafe opposite the station, good coffee and sandwiches. We boarded the train for our short journey to Saintes, and arrived at this lovely town on the river Charentes.
We had booked a hotel in the old town, and it was about a 20 minute walk. We were quite early so just dropped off our bags before going to explore. The "Centre Ancien" is just lovely, narrow cobbled streets, no cars, cafes and shops and beautiful old buildings. It felt a lot quieter than La Rochelle, less touristy, but still lots to see and do. We also noticed cafe and restaurant prices were lower too. We had a yummy Galette (savoury pancake) and salad for lunch next door to the hotel before checking in and having a shower.
As it was quite hot we waited until late afternoon to climb the hill up to the Ampitheatre, well worth the climb :) Amazing to think it has stood for so many years.