After three weeks in the hilly and mountainous Provence we finally went to the Mediterranean Sea. The southwestern extension of the popular Côte d’Azur is the Bay of Lyons, stretching from Marseille, through Montpellier to the border with Spain near Perpignan. Further south are the beaches of the equally famous Spanish Costa Brava. We chose the Golf of Lions for the last week of October.
On Monday we left Nyons in Provence. By Avignon and Montpellier we reached the town of Sete, where we found a place to stop for a week.
Interesting, in France autogas is … GPL, is the rear LPG.
We lived a few dozen meters from the sea shore. Thanks to that, we had such views right after leaving the car.
Taking advantage of the beautiful weather already on Tuesday morning we went to Sete. It is a small harbor town located on one side at the foot of Mount St. Clare (137m), and on the other over the rim of the sea.
Due to the Mediterranean climate one of the dominant species of trees is the palm tree. Even in the suburbs of Sete, there are many of them at homes on the coastal promenade.
On the first we used the opportunity to eat breakfast by the water. These views accompanied us during the morning meal.
Going further towards the center of Sete, the building began to thicken. The main communication line is located along the canal running through the city center. As in other similar Sete seaside resorts, so also here there is no shortage of boats. In the picture below we see the first marina in Sete.
Not only is the harbor a stopping place for all kinds of fishing boats, recreational boats, yachts and other possible marine means of transport. Each piece of free space at the edge of the canal is usually occupied.
In the area of the seaside center there is a unique smell of the sea, fish and sun-dried fishing nets. Not surprisingly, it attracts gulls, who are countless here, and they have probably become accustomed to seeing people because they are not shy at all.
Going further along the canal we see a bit more contemporary architecture. From this skyscraper you can see very well just a few hundred meters further to the mouth of the canal to the Mediterranean Sea.
After a few hours of stay we left Sete and headed for our seaside car park which is perfectly visible, as we will see in a moment.
At this time of year, the sun rises much later than the summer, so you do not need to set the alarm clock to see its east. It is impossible to hide that the east and sunset by the sea are one of the most beautiful views that can happen.
Below the sunrise over Sete. Visible to the left elevation is Mount Holy Clare which around the main buildings of Sete are located. The mountain is located in the geographical center of the city, but most of it is built with single-family houses and in many places it was simply forested.
The sun rises over the Golf of Lion on the Mediterranean Sea.
The next day we spent in Narbonne, a city with a history of antiquity. In II B.C. The Romans formed here the Narbo Martius colony, and in the Middle Ages were ruled here the Visigoths, the Arabs and the Franks. Since the 13th century, the city was under the rule of the King of France and has systematically lost its political significance. It is from the Middle Ages that the most famous monuments of Narbonne.
At one of them, the cathedral of Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur we parked just after arriving.
The town is located on the Canal de la Robine, which indirectly connects them to the Mediterranean Sea. Due to some distance from the sea and high level of silting, only few boats reach here.
Via Domitia, the main square of the city, is home to the most famous quarter of the city, the town hall, the seat of the Archbishopric of Narbonne, the monastery, and the never-finished Gothic cathedral of Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur dating back to the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries.
The picture below shows the front of the town hall and the seat of the Archbishopric of Narbonne.
The gate to the right of the town hall is already entering the archbishop’s palace. Thick Gothic walls give you a pleasant chill that intensifies the harshness and enormity of the buildings themselves.
The Cathedral of Narbonne is a classic example of late medieval church architecture. Scale and size. These two words reflect the spirit that was built at that time. The architects became prisoners of their own idea – the cathedral, for various reasons, was never completed and to this day the main entrance is „under the cloud”.
On the other side of the quarter there is a monastery, which is also part of the defensive wall of former Catholic buildings in the center of Narbonne.
Near the Narbony is Beziers, located on the Canal du Midi, less than 70 thousand city.
Famed in the Middle Ages as a place of bloody religious wars, and in particular of the crucifixion of Pope Innocent III against the Cathar, the Christian religious movement opposed, inter alia, Church hierarchy and by the church itself treated as a sect.
Below one of the main churches Beziers, Eglise de la Madaleine.
We turn around and look at what’s on the other side of Rue Paul Riquet.
Our Golf took over again in the very center, in particular at Pierre Semard.
Nearby, Place Gabriel Peri houses the town hall and formerly the best in the city of Hotel de Ville from the nineteenth century.
The Orb cathedral of Saint-Nazaire and the monastic complex are located on the hillside on the Orb River. From the west it leads to Pont Vieux, a 12th-century Romanesque arch bridge. To this day, it is followed by traffic (weight limit of 2 tons).
The cathedral is really impressive, especially on the other side of the river. Her visible in the surroundings of the riverside bush.
The façade and interior of the cathedral are typical examples of Gothic architecture. Its construction began in the 13th century and lasted for two centuries. Its monumentality does not diverge from the cathedral in Narbonne and the position on the high bank of the river increases its size.
After climbing up we went to the main alley of the Beziers, Allees Paul Riquet. At its northern end, on Place de la victoire, there is a 19th century theater.
The alleys themselves are a wide walking trotuar planted on both sides with tall trees. Behind the trees, also on both sides, there are tenement houses with cafes and restaurants on the ground floor and one-way streets.
As you can see, the trees are already prepared for the upcoming winter.
The avenues end in the beautiful Plateau des Poetes, the Poets’ Park. Before the enter we see the police on horses.
Next week we will be on the west bank of France, near the Atlantic Ocean and the Spanish border.