Celia's blog

Musings on life in Lodeve, Languedoc

Posts Tagged ‘Seaside’

A trip to the seaside

Posted by celiahukins on 19/02/2012


Last Sunday the wind was blowing but the sun was shining so we set off for the seaside. We wanted to explore a different part of the Agde headland, so we headed for the Rochelongue beach which is just to the south of the Cap. From there we planned to walk along the beach to le Grau d’Agde, where the Hérault flows out into the sea and where we could have lunch – an important part of the trip.

There was a cold headwind and by the time we got to le Grau d’Agde we were ready to retreat inside. The cafes were just beginning to open up for the season, with the prospect of half term and Valentine’s Day ahead. We quickly scanned the menus outside those that were open and decided on L’Astoria as soon as we saw it

From the 15 euro menu we had a starter of oysters and mussels, followed by dorade for him and lieu noir (pollock) for me, and then a crème caramel. We had a 50cl bottle of Picpoul de Pinet. Outside the gulls sat on the restaurant sign.

The restaurant was run by a young couple. The grandmother brought their son in to say hello. Ou est maman? he asked. After a short visit they wrapped him up warmly and the pair set off again.

After lunch it took a while to put on our layers of clothes before we could venture back outside. We strolled inland up the Hérault for a little way; this is the area where the boats are moored. Then back to Rochelongue, with the wind behind us now.

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August at the seaside

Posted by celiahukins on 12/09/2011


The obligatory August trip to the seaside, to the Plage des Aresquiers near Frontigngan, which has become one of our favourites. You walk from the car park along the beach until you’ve had enough and there is a clear patch of sand (maybe after 40 minutes); then you sit and eat your quiches from the bakers and watch the windsurfers in the distance.

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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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February seaside walk

Posted by celiahukins on 02/03/2010


Thought I ‘d posted this. It relates to 20 February,
Days of snow give way to days of rain, and just when you think that this depressing weather is going to last for ever, out comes the sun. On the Méteo France weather map it looked like it was going to be sunnier by the coast, so we set off for Palavas les Flots. We abandoned the idea of the walk we’d originally planned as we realised it would be much too wet, so we set off from Palavas and walked along the sea shore, with sightings of the flamingoes on the lagoon, until we decided it was time to stop for our picnic. The breeze was quite chilly but it was warm in the sun.

We had previously walked along this strip of coast from Frontignan at the Southern end, but there is probably a bit in the middle that we haven’t been to yet.

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Is this really Autumn?

Posted by celiahukins on 31/10/2009

Cap d'Agde
So I thought Summer was over. Well I was wrong. Several days with temperatures in the low 20s, the sun hot on the terrace after lunch, with no wind and everything quiet (except for the work going on at Christian and MIchelle’s house, where they are having their chimney redone).
Salon Nautique
At Cap D’Agde people were enjoying the sunshine and the Toussaint (All Saints) holiday weekend. I was there to visit the Salon Nautique; everyone in shorts and T shirts as if summer had never gone away. A wonderful selection of boats and yachts.

James Bond boat
I liked this one which looked as if it could have come out of a James Bond film. I imagined a much skinnier me in a bikini, the wind in my hair, sitting at the table with a glass of champagne, with Sean Connery at the wheel. Well at least we have managed to buy a house in the South of France, which isn’t bad; a boat would be a bit extravagant – and I still can’t swim.

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Goodbye Summer

Posted by celiahukins on 16/10/2009

By the pool

Since I arrived on Sunday the weather has got cooler. At first it was shorts and tee shirt weather, then the nights became cooler. Yesterday afternoon I needed a jacket walking into Lodève. We sat by the pool for the last time on Wednesday before it is closed up for the winter.

Le Grau d'Agde

We’ve enjoyed a walk by the sea at le Grau d’Agde, and one in the hills around Clermont l’Herault. At the market at Clermont we bought Muscat grapes and Chantecler apples, and also the new duck paté en croute that Tom has discovered.  The neighbours brought us their some of their new olive crop  and we’ve had the little tomatoes from the garden. The figs have just finished but I’m waiting for the rest of the quinces to ripen. No sign of pears on the pear tree this year (there was one earlier but it has gone now)

It’s good to have the house back now the renters have gone. Mostly they’re not a problem but I wonder who took the wooden coat hangers I bought from Ikea for 3 euros? Was it really worth it?
Sun lounger

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A walk at the seaside

Posted by celiahukins on 08/09/2009

Seaside

When we went to this beach it was August and still hot We drove past Frontignan towards the Plage des Aresquiers (I’m still not exactly sure where that is) and walked along the spit between the lagoon and the sea for about 45 minutes. We could have carried on for another 45 minutes and reached Villeneuve les Maguelone, but we needed to get back to the car.
Coquillages
We had the beach almost to ourselves. We shared a picnic bottle of red wine and ate quiches from the bakers. As the waves came and went you could collect the shells they left behind. On the way back to the house we stopped at the fruit stall in Montagnac to buy some melons and local peaches for our evening meal.

And now August gives place to September. There is a chill in the air in the evenings. It’s la rentrée and the children are back at school. And we’re back in Birmingham, thinking of summer days.

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