23.5.13

Most of the wisterias were gone, but...



I was away south… so I cannot resist against some non-Paris posts.

My first destination was Sète, where I met blogger friend Alain. I already posted about this little town, so I just show some pictures from our sailing on Alain’s boat, in very light winds.


We made some nice visits in the beautiful hinterland. Here are some shots from the 11th century “Pont du Diable” (Devil’s Bridge), built by Benedictine monks. It’s a World Heritage Site, part of the Santiago de Compostella Route. Why such a name, given also to some other old bridges? There are different versions. One of them just says that these bridges were built under difficult conditions with the Devil as adversaire. 

The bridge leads you to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert with its Abbey  with origins from the early 9th century. Part of the cloister was moved to the Manhattan Fort Tryon Park and its cloisters museum.





We also visited the Salagou Lake, as most French lakes, an artificial one, created by the end of the 1960’s.



Another stop was at Pézenas, a very nice city, maybe especially known for having been the home of Molière’s “Illustre Théatre” during some years in the 1650’s. Molière failed in Paris in the beginning of his career and his reputation was based on his years in this region … which allowed him obtain the favour of Louis XIV and to return to Paris. His statue is of course to be seen.



One particular detail is this old gate in a narrow street.


We also made an overnight stop in the Minervois region, invited by friends to Alain.


There are some charming villages, including Minerve, which has given its name to the region. You may note that the river has made its own tunnel.


In addition to wine, the region is also known for its marble. Quarrying has been undertaken here for centuries and especially its red marble is known, although you also find other shades. To see this marble polished, you may go to Versailles and elsewhere. There are several quarries around. We visited one which today is only occasionally exploited – by Italians from Carrare . An abandoned windmill previously served to cut the marble.


When having dinner one night on the beach of Sète I observed these fast-flying gnats … and tried different exposures. :-)


(Next episode will be about places closer to Marseille.) 

19 comments:

Nadege said...

My niece lives in this region. That is a great spot and you are lucky to have a friend who has a sail boat. It must be so hard to come back to Paris.

Pierre BOYER said...

Je connais bien cette région où j'ai grandit et passé ma jeunesse.
Souvenirs souvenirs....
Belle journée,

Pierre

Thérèse said...

Quelle magnifique region chargee d'histoire comme toute la France. De quoi s'emerveiller et les rencontres entre bloggueurs sur la mer elargissent les horizons...

Raphael said...

Thanks for that post, made my day.
Although I just like to leave the office and hop in a plane to go there...

Alain said...

La croisière était "all inclusive".

Cezar and Léia said...

Spectacular article, your pictures are wonderful and you prepared beautiful collages. I'm taking my notes, I hope to visit there someday!
Léia

Kate said...

Terrific photos; mine eyes dazzle!

french cravings said...

Beautiful photos, Peter! I hope you had a great trip...now back to reality.;) x Katie

Starman said...

Fabulous trip! I wish I could still do trips like that.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I could not tell by your photos what type of sailboat that is...
Absolutely stunning photos!
Merci, Peter.
Maria

Jeanie said...

Oh, Peter, I think I could fall in love with the South of France, too. Your photos are wonderful and the region sounds fascinating. The combo of the water and inland is a fine one! Merci beaucoup!

claude said...

C'est une belle région. Il y a des coins charmants. Je connais Sète et Pezenas.
Il paraît que tu as bien apprécié l'open bar du bateau d'Alain. C'est mon petit doigts qui me l'a dit.
Merci pour ce beau reportage.

Synne said...

Very colourful and charming - I love it!

Studio at the Farm said...

What a wonderful trip, Peter! You took such fascinating photos. I must ask your permission to use a village or monastery scene for reference.

hpy said...

J'ai du passer une nuit à Pezenas dans une autre vie.

quantum satis said...

så mange fine bilder. Frankrike har ALT !

Catherine said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip down south - don't know sete but love Marseille - made a few trips there recently....great shots of the area...am currently in Milan checking out the galleries....

redheadwithglasses said...

Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing and writing about their history. I am planning my itinerary for southern Europe next year in search of my roots. So many wonderful villages to explore!

Jilly said...

Beautiful photographs of a beautiful area. Adore that first shot! Lyrical.