Sunday, 6 February 2011

Farewell to Languedoc

Murviel lès Béziers
On February 5th we flew out of Béziers after selling our house in Lamalou-les-Bains. This photo was taken from the plane and shows the circular village (circulade) of Murviel lès Béziers. Many villages developed as circulades in the south-west of France from the 10th century onwards. The villages were arranged in a defensive circle around a hilltop château and church. Murviel is just a few kilometers from Lamalou-les Bains.

From now on, this blog will only be updated during our visits to France to see our many friends there. The return to England marks an end to an enjoyable 7-year adventure and I would like to record our thanks and best wishes to the friends we have left behind. Thank you Sue and Andy, Christine and Mostyn, Tuesday and Mike, Joy and David, Maggie and Nigel, Lindsey and Stan, Mark and Yvette, Trish and Martyn, Jennie and David, Maureen and Steve, Janie and Bob, Louise Razaq and Yasmine, Mary and Chris, Denise and Louis, Linda and David, Cheryl and Roger, Katy and David, Père Tayac, Sœur Maïthé, Susan and Ray, Lynda and Pete, Juliette and Royce, Genevieve and Jean-Paul, Marie-Claire and Jean-Bernard, Bernadette, Rosemarie and Jaques, Luce Yves and Virginie, Régis, Dawn, Françoise, Annick, Katia, Pauline, Martine, Yvette, Sheila, Georgette and Denis, Claude, Jean-Michel, Cor and all at Riols choir, Zona and Sandy, Christine and Jack, Joan and Jack, Joyce and Tony, Jenny and Alan, Brand, Sally, Trish and Roger, Bobbie and Colin, Alison and John, Chris and Bryan, Val and Linda and all at Grace Church. We love you all - and I apologise for anyone we have missed!

A bientôt!

George and Lyn

Friday, 12 November 2010

Arc-en-Ciel

Rainbow over Le Bousquet d'Orb
On our walk today, Mostyn, Button and I were accompanied by a rainbow almost the whole way. No rain for us but it was obviously in the air to the north. The town of Le Bousquet d'Orb is framed by the rainbow.
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Autumn, Gorges de Colombières

Autumn colours in the Gorges de Colombières
Taken this morning on my walk with Mostyn and Button. This walk along the east side of the gorge is one of my favourites. The occasional shafts of sunlight highlighting the autumn colour of the Sweet Chestnut trees were striking.
(Canon EOS450D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 17mm, 1/400s @ f/5.0)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Departing Storm

Dramatic sky after thunderstorm
This afternoon there was a short but violent thunderstorm. As it passed I was struck by the appearance of the sky. The photo was taken from our garden.
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Autumn, Forest track

Sweet Chestnut leaves on a forest track
The autumn colours are really beginning to show well now. This photo was taken yesterday in the Forêt de l'Usclade above Le Poujol sur Orb.
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Evening Shadows, Cirque de l'Infernet

Evening shadows spread across the Cirque de l'Infernet
Button looks on from the footpath as the late afternoon shadows creep up the opposite hillside in the Cirque de l'Infernet near St-Guilhem-le-Désert.
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Notre Dame de Lieu Plaisant

N.D. de Lieu Plaisant
As promised here is a photo of the Hermitage at Notre Dame de Lieu Plaisant near St-Guilhem-le-Désert. The hermitage is now occupied as evidenced by the open shutters and the fresh woodpile, it's a 3 Km walk from the nearest habitation but an inspiringly peaceful place. The hermitage has several different names; N.D. de Belle Grace, N.D. de l'Ermitage and N.D. de Lieu Plaisant. I much prefer the last as this is a very pleasant, peaceful and lonely place!
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

St-Guilhem-le-Désert

St-Guilhem-le-Désert from the N.D. de Lieu Plaisant path
This view of St-Guilhem shows the village nestling in the valley in late October sunshine. Mostyn and I walked from St-Guilhem to N.D. de Lieu Plaisant (photo to follow) and back via Les Fenestrelles today. An excellent walk!
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Douch Village

Douch Village
The village of Douch lies close to Le Caroux at a height of 897m. Despite the harsh winters and isolated situation there is a fair sized resident community. Some commute (when weather permits) others work on the land in farming and forestry. There is a small museum dedicated to the Mouflon or wild mountain sheep and a Gîte d'Étape which serves drinks and meals in the summer.
(Canon EOS450D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 33.0mm, 1/500s @ f/6.3)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Lac du Salagou

Lac du Salagou
This photo was taken on a walk around the shore of this reservoir - 26 Kms. The Red Sandstone "Ruffes" rocks, eroded in the foreground, are typical of the area around the Salagou. The lake is used as a reserve for hydro-electric generation and also as a water supply for the Canadair aircraft used for "water bombing" forest fires during the summer. Watching them fill their tanks while flying low over the lake is quite a sight!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Ripe Sweet Chestnuts

Ripe Sweet Chesnuts
This part of Southern France has many Chestnut plantations. Indeed, in the past chestnuts were the staple food providing flour to make bread after drying in specially built "Sécadous" or drying houses. This photo was taken near to the village of Villecelle.
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Cirque de Navacelles

Cirque de Navacelles
Yesterday, Mostyn, Button and I went walking around Navacelles. The remarkable remains of a meander of the river Vis have made this location a well-known tourist sight. The river now flows straight, over a cascade, past the far side of the village. Usually, such a cut-off meander forms an oxbow lake but in this location the river has eroded down leaving a dry and fertile plain.
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Hérault View 2

From near Douch looking towards the Vialais Valley
Another view of the Hérault landscape in early autumn.
(Canon EOS450D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 19.0mm, 1/800s @ f/6.3)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Hérault view

View west from Rochers des deux vierges
Mostyn and I walked up to a spectacular viewpoint today, the "Rochers des deux vierges" (Rocks of the two virgins). A castle was built on the top of this dolomitic limestone outcrop in the 10th century. Very little remains now, but there is a small chapel. The photo shows the view to the west looking towards Mont Liausson and Pic de Vissou.
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Public Toilet, Sète

Typical, ornate public loo in Sète
Although the old "Pissoirs" are no longer found in most towns in France, some of the public toilets still have that French "Je ne sais quoi" about them!
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)
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