Tag Archives: Beziers

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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France, The Canal du Midi

“…without doubt the most beautiful and most noble construction of its kind ever undertaken….I would have preferred to have created it, than all that I have done and all that I will do …”  –  Maréchal Vauban

or…                                                                                                                                                   “I am rendered speechless by the unfolding diorama of bosky French perfection”  –  Jeremy Clarkson (BBC motoring journalist and all-round clever dick on travelling by boat on the canal)

Our plan was to stay in Beziers today, partly because it seemed good manners to spend some time there rather than dash off elsewhere and partly because I didn’t relish the prospect of reversing the Citroën out of the garage again.

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France, The Camargue

Arles France

So we sat in the warm sunshine finished our drinks and then returned to the car, left Arles and made our way into the Camargue.

The Camargue is a special place not only in France but in all of Europe and it is another of those places that I have always wanted to see.  It is a triangular area lying on the coast between the Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence and is a river delta where the River Rhône meets the sea – a marshy island bounded by two branches of the Rhône and the Mediterranean.

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France, Beziers to Setê to Arles

Canal du Midi France Setê

“It’s not all pristine.  Proper ports temper grandeur with skulduggery.  There are chaps you wouldn’t want to meet other than in broad daylight. But walk the canal network, perhaps take a boat and then park yourself at any of the fish restaurants fronting the Canal Royal…”                                                                  Anthony Peregrine – The Telegraph Travel Supplement.

After a long day previously we slept late in a dark room blacked out by tight electric shutters and it was well past nine o’clock before we went downstairs and had an exceptionally good breakfast.  We were planning to drive to Arles today further east and there were a number of different options for the route so we debated these over our food but failed to come to any firm conclusions except that we would first of all go to Setê, a fishing port and holiday resort on the Mediterranean coast.

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France, Rugby World Cup Celebrations in Beziers

Canal du Midi Beziers

After the refreshment break in Carassonne we walked around a little more but we were soon going over the same ground and revisiting streets from an hour or so before so in the late afternoon we left La Cité by the main drawbridge gate and walked back over the Pont Vieux to the car park because ahead of us we had a sixty-kilometre drive to the city of Beziers where we would be our base now for three nights.

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