Loupian is a small village with 1.500 inhabitants, 1.5 km north to Mèze. The outstanding “Villa Gallo-Romaine de Loupian”, though standing on the territory of Loupian is closer to Mèze than to Loupian village. It is actually just outside the city center of Mèze.
For more, visit my Loupian page.
Mèze is a 10.000 inhabitants city on the Bassin de Thau. It is a very old city, built by the Greeks, Vith BC. The city is mostly dedicated to mussels and oysters growing. It has of course a great many sea food restaurants.
For more, visit my Mèze page.
Montagnac, in Occitan Montanhac, is a 3,500 inhabitants town, 5 km north east to Pézenas with an interesting church. Église Saint André (Saint Andrew church) was built from the XIIth to the XIVth.
It has also several mansions such as Hôtel Rey de Vissac, Hôtel de Rat and Hôtel de Pegat.
For more, visit my Montagnac page (to come)
Pézenas is a small inland town with 8,000 inhabitants, 40 kilometers from Sète, 25 km from Agde. Until the 50s, the coast was unhealthy with a lot of malaria. Important cities were not on the coast but inland. Pézenas was one of them and thus has a long history. It has a very active cultural life and several architectural jewels. For more, visit my Pézenas page (to come)
14 kms of sandy beach--beside the Mediterranean, with the Eatng de Thau behind.
It forms a long 'spit' of land, arriving at Vias and Agde at the far end.
A short bus ride from the town takes you to this wonderful, uncrowded beach.It is dotted with little cafes providing parasols for shelter, when the blazing sun gets too hot.
There are showers, toilets and life guard stations at various places along the beach.
The signposts near the lifeguard station provide information as to wind speed and temperature of air and the water.
The town of Sete can be seen to the middle left of the picture.
The huge lake of the Etang de Thau has many mussel and oyster beds.
You can take the boat trip out to this area and see the mussels and oysters 'growing' under water from the glass-bottomed boat.
The experience is like gliding, silently, through an underwater prehistoric forest.
The torchlit procession through the streets, on Bastille night.All the kids were given lanterns with which to process.The 'candle police' would have been out in force if this were in the UK!
It's amazing watching the organization of the procession, which starts at the Mairie,(Town Hall).The lanterns are handed out and the candles lit by the gendarmes.The brass bands all get together amid much chaos and set off at the head of the procession, followed by the children, the grown- ups then the older people.Everyone dances their way through the narrow streets, whilst flares and fireworks are let off.At one stage the whole of one tiny, narrow street was thronged with crowds and red smoke! The procession winds its way through the streets and ends up at the main Square where the bands carry on their music making on the stage.Stalls have been set up throughout the day, ready for the evening, selling hot snacks and drinks.The cafes that surround the square have spent the day putting out extra tables and chairs ready for the customers in the evening.The sounds of the bands, singers, fireworks exploding, and the smell of the cordite is overwhelming.People start dancing, children perform routines, long- rehearsed, like cheerleaders, waving batons and pom- poms in time to the music, whilst the older people sit on the sidelines, watching fondly.The delicious smells of onions and garlic cooking emanate from the cafes.Later in the evening the procession, lead, once more by the bands, wends its way to the other end of the canal side for the spectacular firework display that rounds off the wonderful evening.
I found this beautiful bar-tabac near the market, way up the hill and away from the main streets.
A real locals' bar.
You could smell the garlic from their saucisson they had bought at the market, earlier, mixing with the gorgeous whiff of strong coffee and french bread.
These wonderful white horses roam wild all over the Camargue area.
We saw them on the way to Aigues Mortes, along the coast from Sete.
I couldn't resist capturing this moment, as the wind caught these beautiful hand- printed scarves.They were actually in Aigues Mortes, in the little streets within the ramparts of the fortress.
I love the quirky stalls one finds in a French market and the way they display their wares.
These socks were very enticing!
All ready for the Tour de France and very cheap at 8 euros for 4 pairs!