France, Béziers and The Origin of Faeces

Beziers Languedoc France

It was quite a steep and demanding climb up from the river L’Orb to the Cathedral St. Nazaire which took us through the narrow streets of the old quarter which except for electricity, mobile phones and satellite dishes probably hasn’t changed a great deal since the days of the French Revolution.

The Cathedral is one of the largest and most important in the region but sadly it was closed right now for lunch so we had to make do with the sweeping views from underneath its Gothic exterior across the meadows and woodland on the other side of the river bathed in light swirling mists all the way to the Montagne Noire (Black Mountains) in the Languedoc National Park away to the west.

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4 responses to “France, Béziers and The Origin of Faeces

  1. Andrew,
    Nice to know that in our mutual base town of Grimsby, we are at least one-up on the French on the dog-mess front.
    Only trouble is that some bright spark on the council thought it a good idea for the bins that host the dog waste to be coloured pillarbox red!
    (And yes, you’ve guessed: I really did see a chap try to post a letter in my local one!)
    Why could they not paint the box GREEN like this one?

    Disappointed with the French. I can recall being in Paris 20 years ago and being soo impressed with Jacques Chirac’s team of motorcycle cleaners (moto-crottes, dubbed the “Chiraclettes”).

    These guys looked like guys from Outer Space in their near-luminous green overalls, and their motorbikes contained vacuum cleaners that sucked up the offending mess, and also a water tank and soapy shampoo, which they immediately applied to the area where the offending item had been.
    Then task completed, these guys would then set off for the next dog deposit.
    I was full of admiration, and genuinely thought it the shape of things to come in the Brave New World, and especially FRANCE.
    But guess what? Not only have the green men not spread to the other major French cities, they have even vanished from Paris now.
    No money to pay for them apparently.
    Maybe the politicians stole it all.
    Chirac himself still faces massive corruption allegations.

    The men in green were replaced by an intended fine system.

    Well, it does not seem to be totally working in Paris. Certainly, I encountered a small amount of such mess when in Paris just last month.

    But if they are not QUITE working in Paris, what does that say for Beziers? Clearly they can have no fines there at all. (Either that or the dogs are ALL owned by the local police/councillors/dog wardens! Unlikely, methinks!)



    • Hello Dai

      Yes, I remember these. It was at a time when I worked for Onyx UK, a French Company, and they tried to introduce them into Westminster but the city council wouldn’t pay! They also had a system based on liquid nitrogen which would deep freeze the offending deposit so that it could be easily scooped up – this didn’t last long either!



  2. We went to Beziers for the first time late September .We both found the city enjoyable . We loved the old part of city next to the Cathedral .
    Yes , the city is a little run down and my wife was furious to see dog’s faeces all over the city, but the city should have a campaign to educate the owners.
    For lunch we went to Octopus , which has a Michelin star , the two course menu with a glass of wine was only 22 Euros! One evening we had 12 oysters each for 10 euros.
    We are planing to return .


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