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.)