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How many days in the cities of Bordeaux and la Rochelle?

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We will be visiting the area in the first half of October and would like to visit both cities. From what I have read, having a car would be a hassle in either place, so I was thinking of taking the train between the cities. Depending on logistics, we'd then pick up a car at the tail end of one of the city visits.

For just the city by itself and not visits to neighboring areas, about how many days should I plan for a stay each place? We enjoy just walking around and soaking in the ambiance and plan to visit some of the typical tourist sites. We would probably also be interested in one of the boat trips for a couple hours or maybe cycling around the city itself a bit. Visits to outlying areas would be done separately after we leave the city.

Thoughts? Thanks.

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