2002 Eating and Drinking Vacation
Canal Du Midi France
Warning!! These links to locks, food & wine, and Roman Ruins
are very large and slow loading.
Great to see a bed after 30+ hours traveling through 5 airports and a
railroad station or two.
US Airways is the best, leg room, service and on schedule.
Hind sight: take a train from CDG or Lyons, avoid the no leg room
situtation on Air France.
Our Hotel has the prettiest sitting patio .
First French pastry breakfast. Wade discovers the technique of
the bread trail to the nearest bakery.
Bread trail technique = back track the locals carrying sacks of
bread to the just opened pastry shop.
Quick taxi cab ride to Port Cassafieres
, which is 2 kilometers from the Mediterranean.
First night on board, nice little grocery store and outdoor market.
Wade found the first wine merchant, and a new invention. Jug wine ,
comes in 4 liter jugs, so you do not have to keep opening
aqueduct over the river Orb. Not very good weather for pictures,
cleaned camera lens 10 times, finally gave up.
stepped locks, in the rain. Broken lock gate had to be operated by
tourists pulling on a long rope.
Ate dinner in an old fortified house named Le Chateau De
Colombiers , great service and food.
were a welcome sight the next morning.
Discovered that the main pastry shop, has a special branch office 100
foot from the canal that sells day old pastry to tourists. Followed the
to the real pastry shop.
Colombiers was a very picturesque village with a quaint looking
de Ville .
Climbed up a hill to check out the ruins 600 BC Roman fortified village
d'Enserune) . Could see an i rrigation grid
laid out in the shape of a wheel in the valley below. This
irrigation project was constructed in the 1200s by monks to change the
Pond of Montady into productive fields. Link to French site,
describing the history and engineering involved in
draining the Pond of Montady.
Visited great canal side winery with
hospitable owner , explained his wine making business down through
the generations with perfect english. Arrived too late in Capestang to
eat at any decent restaurant. Ended up eating on the north side of the
canal at a pizzeria with awful bathrooms and no CC machine. I had
mussels on the half shell that were pretty good, might have been canned
dill sauce on the mussels.
Next morning shopping revealed all the good restaurants we missed. The
has excellent Roquefort and wine.
Loved the architecture of this old village, looks like a lot of winter vacation estates
for the rich French. The church is
amazing for a small village, with it's gargoyles
and towers. Very friendly people.
After leaving Capestang at port Robine we head southward on the Canal
De Jonction towards Narbonne. Another
aqueduct over the river Cesse is crossed with picturesque sights
is, clean little village where we spend the night. The lock is in the
middle of town.
Narbonne is my favorite town of this
Dining is great.
cannot be topped.
village flea market was the best.
Pastry shops with the word artist added to the sign have the best goodies .
There were a few bums that bothered the boats if anchored near the
center of town at night. But anchoring there during the day is fine.
Bums probably hurt the downtown restaurant's night time business
(we moved upstream, and ate pasta the second night).
The same Roman road that served L'Oppidum d'Enserune (Via Domitia) is
evident in Narbonne. In fact the center piece of the town square is an
church with an interesting history also.
Great place to sample everyday
French culture without being in a tourist trap atmosphere.
Wondering what the big chicken
on top of the war memorial represents.
Back up the Canal De Jonction crossing the River cesse aqueduct. Bought
some diesel from
Chad , a British guy that has a nice canal side business. Had
dinner in Homps , seating was outdoors with the perfect
Came across a lock keeper who carved
wooden sculptures , some were anti mated with motors and and motion
Trebes / Carcassonne
Made it to Trebs before the locks closed. Took a taxi to Carcassonne.
Returned to Trebs late that night. Finished cruising into Carcassonne
the next morning. Arrived to late for the English language tour of the
Carcassonne Chateau, but had a wonderful tour by the cutest and most
enthusiastic tour guide in Southern France. I only understood about
every 10th word, but I would go back for another tour with her any day.
Wish I would have done my homework on the architecture, so I could tell
the restored parts from the original.
site with a great guided tour of Carcassonne
Very pretty lock keeper.
Our bicycle scouts find a restaurant that is a mile away. Kye had no
problem keeping up with her crutches.
The final stop on our voyage.
This a large port with a lake to store water required to work the locks
We noticed a constant wind blowing in the afternoon. Also along the
shore were a couple of round 3 - 4 story buildings.
Found out later that these round
structures were, what is left of windmills that lined the shore.
Excellent pastry shops and stores. Found out that our Air France flight
is canceled by a one day only strike, will have to rough it on the
Very pleasant train ride, had plenty of wine and snacks for the trip.
Returned to the Comfort Inn next to CDG with their fabulous French