Celia's blog

Musings on life in Lodeve, Languedoc

Archive for the ‘Languedoc’ Category

Lodève watercolours

Posted by celiahukins on 06/04/2015

door

I haven’t been active on this blog for a while but I have been busy doing other things. My English friend Janet is hosting an exhibition in Lodève, opening on 16 April at L’Art en Poche. If you can’t make it then, you can see some of her paintings here

Since January I have been recording the walks of the walking group here. The site is now becoming a useful reference; you can check for example for type of walk or points of interest.

Maybe I’ll post some more soon…

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A day in Sete

Posted by celiahukins on 05/07/2012

Boats at Sete
Sète changes with the time of year. We were there in April for the Escale a Sete. When we went there on Monday it was definitely summer, although the temperature wasn’t too high (high 20s) as Sunday had been unseasonably cold. Taking a wrong turn off the diversion as we approached Sète turned out to be a good idea as it led us directly to the Pointe Courte, where we had planned to go in the afternoon.
fishing shack
Tucked away behind the station and an industrial estate, the Pointe Courte is the original fishing village of Sète, where the fishermen still sit and mend their nets and go out for the catch in the mornings.

Poiinte Courte
And then of course there was lunch. a visit to L’Amiral where we have been before. Today from their 13 euro menu we had soupe de poissons, lemon sole with pommes vapeur, and ice cream or fruit salad, washed down with an excellent bottle of Picpoul de Pinet (l’Ormarine).

After that we climbed up the steps to the top of the Mont St Clair, from where you can see along the coast south to Agde and north to Montpellier and the Grande Motte, and inland towards the oyster beds of the Bassin du Thau. Then it was time to go back and relax by the pool.
pool

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Sunday in Sete

Posted by celiahukins on 10/04/2012


I’ve written about Sète before but each time there is something different to see. It’s a working port with a good range of cafes along the canals – and also a long beach on one side which stretches as far as Agde. And of course there is Musée Paul Valéry, run by the lady who used to run the art gallery in Lodève (why did they let her go?)
On a breezy Easter Sunday we drove there with our friends for the annual Escale a Sete We parked by the railway station and after a rather chilly wait got on the free boat which took us along the canal to the main quays. We joined the crowds wandering along looking at the boats.


We saw several groups of musicians, even some bagpipes (oh no, thought we had left them behind in Aberdeen)

It was soon time for lunch at l’Amiral, where we had the 3 course 15 euro menu. We all chose soupe de poisson and moules farcies and were not disappointed. It was lucky we had booked (for 12.00) as by 12.10 people were being turned away “Vous avez réservé? C’est complet.” She should have had a recording.

After our lunch we wandered around the quays, and met some Russian sailors (average age 17). We had seen them earlier in the souvenir shops, looking for presents to take home. They couldn’t speak French so were pleased to talk to us in English. They said they would like to come back next year, but we weren’t quite sure whether that would be an official visit.

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Heading South

Posted by celiahukins on 30/12/2011

When we arrived in Montpellier we were sad to find that they were in the process of demolishing the Lizard Bar, where we had hoped to sit. It was a sunny spot and a good place to pass an hour or so waiting for the bus to Lodève with a beer or a green tea. We watched its demolition from the café opposite the station.

Parts of Montpellier have been a chaotic building site for over a year now as they build a new tram line. We hope that the resulting improvements will be worth the wait, like the road from Montpellier to Lodève which took several years and many frustrating traffic jams to complete but now means that you can do the journey in 45 minutes.

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Summer outings

Posted by celiahukins on 10/06/2011

There are always new places to visit in the Languedoc. The other day we went to Aigues Mortes – about an hour and a half’s drive away. Aigues Mortes was a base for the Crusaders; Louis IX rebuilt the port in the 13th century and the 7th crusade left from there. A highlight of the visit is a walk round the ramparts, which surround the town. Unfortunately they were closed because of a strike, so after a brief stroll there was nothing else to do but have lunch. We sat at one of the cafés in the main square and ate sea bass with asparagus puree, followed by chocolate mousse, and washed down with the local white.
Feeling more cheerful we headed on to La Grande Motte. The reason for going there was that it was twinned with Hornsea where I grew up. Sure enough there was the road sign “ La Grande Motte – jumellée avec Hornsea”. The town is a 1960s creation – De Gaulle’s idea. From the air it sometimes looks impressive if the sun is shining. There were pleasant enough paths surrounded by pine trees, but the general dullness of the day reminded us of Hornsea, although at least 10 degrees warmer.

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A week in the Languedoc

Posted by celiahukins on 20/10/2010


There are always things to do in the Languedoc. I had a first time visitor last week (Most other friends have been at least once by now). We started off with a wander round Pézenas (the weather didn’t look too promising but it turned out all right), had a tasty lunch in the square, then on to Villeneuvette, the former cloth factory where there is a pleasant walk around the grounds with their complicated irrigation system. Of course we had to visit Lodève market, where we tasted the first of the new season of our local luques olives – delicious – and bought some tapénade for my friend to discover. (Note – this has no resemblance to the tapénade you buy in jars)

We also did some other old favourites – Cirque de Navacelles
Saint Guilhem le Desert and the Pont du Diable

and a driving tour round the Lac du Salagou.

New for me was a trip to Millau – we drove down into Millau, with views of the bridge on the way, saw the market (note the cepes!), had a picnic lunch by the river in the sun (baguette with local ham, goats cheese, pine nuts and a mystery ingredient – was it honey?) then drove on to the viewing area and to drive over the bridge itself. (Alas by this point my camera battery was flat, but here’s one I prepared earlier).

We returned by way of La Couvertoirade an authentic medieval village, former home of the Knights Templar.

What to do on a rainy day? What better than a Sunday afternoon concert at Le Minuscule – Gershwin and Mozart on 2 pianos, and green tea and scones. And yes, it is possible to get 2 pianos in the small café, not to mention a large number of people as well.

We nearly forgot to pop in to the cathedral. When we did the sun was shining and the stained glass window looked splendid.

We ended our trip with a picnic lunch on the beach at Vias, before catching our £5 Ryanair flight from Béziers to Bristol at 3.30 – Vive Ryanair!

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