Thursday, May 3, 2018

Venturing out from Narbonne

We spent a couple days exploring Narbonne and settling into our lovely apartment. We're here for the next ten days so there will be lots of time to head out in different directions to explore.

Yesterday we went to Les Halles, the covered market that's open every day. This market has been operating here for more than 100 years in a gorgeous building and it's a treasure trove of fresh food of all kinds: cheese, sausage, chicken, fish, vegetables and fruits, bread, salad greens.....

We watched a young woman picking out the fruits and vegetables she wanted and putting them in the plastic bin before handing them to the cashier--so that's what we did. People are very kind and helpful even with our strangled speech.  Harry was happy to get into the kitchen and make one of his trademark soups. We will be eating this for dinner for the next few nights.

Our plan while we're here is to take the car and explore villages and sights to the north and west and south each day, perhaps stopping for lunch somewhere and then returning here to our little apartment for a quiet evening. This morning we decided to head north to Béziers, about an hour north from here. Our destination was chosen this morning after looking at the weather for various places nearby. We are experiencing brutal winds here in Narbonne and we were looking for somewhere a little more peaceful, weather-wise.

Béziers is an ancient town with a bloody history, although it seemed quite quiet today. We walked from the commercial area in the centre to the cathedral built in the 13th Century, then back up to the plaza which is under construction for a pleasant lunch, sheltered from the wind.

On our way back we stopped at a little village by the name of Le Somail, that we'd heard of from our friends Jennifer and Jim, who cycled through this area a couple of years ago. Their cycle trip along the Canal du Midi ended in this little town, which they really liked. By the time we got there though the wind was wild, blowing straight down the canal. There were some cyclists and boaters there who looked pretty miserable. The town itself was very sweet but it's amazing how your experience can be affected by a windstorm.  We could see how lovely it would be on a drowsy sunny afternoon but that wasn't our experience today.

Tonight is our second night of high winds in Narbonne. The wind blows in from the Mediterranean and whips straight down the Canal. It's 40 kilometers gusting to 60 and I have to say it's unsettling. The prediction is for it to moderate tomorrow and that's what we're hoping for.  Meanwhile we're enjoying the comforts of our apartment here.  Tomorrow we may head south.... or west.... It depends on the weather forecast.


  1. It is a good thing you are staying in the area for 10 days - surely the weather will moderate and you will have some lovely weather. Many years ago my husband and I and friends took a barge from Beziers to Carcassone - I remember some wind and we wrapped ourselves in the duvets from the boat.

    1. Yes, it's bound to settle down sometime. Not yet though. Maybe over the weekend.


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