Languedoc-Rousillon Travel Journal

This is the first part of our Travel Journal France 2012. During this trip we've also visited the Côte d'Azur.

> Driving to the South of France

Autoroute du Soleil13-07-2012 Mid-morning, on this Friday the 13th, we're leaving Arnhem by car on our way South. Allowing the usual short stops it takes us about seven hours to reach Dijon, where we're spending the night.

14-07-2012 Because of the extreme traffic predictions for today, and the traffic we've experienced at some places yesterday, we decide to switch to an alternative route. Through the route Nationale we cross from the Autoroute du Soleil to the A75, which takes us, in an extra hour, but without all the traffic fuss, to Pézenas. The Autoroute du Soleil seems to have been overcrowded all day, the extra hour was probably peanuts compared to the extra time the traffic would have cost us. And the route Nationale is a fairly relaxing way of traveling, since it's been upgraded to four lanes.

Our luxurious mobile home turns out to be really nice and a private shower turns out to be quite comfortable. Perhaps an option for future holidays as well.

> Cities and beaches in Southern France

15-07-2012 Our camping is a lovely quiet place and the only sound is from the wind, which can sometimes be pretty strong here, and the many cicadas, involved in a chirping contest. This morning we first explore the old city of Pézenas and the ancient watermill near Saint-Thibéry, both nothing spectacular, but quite a nice sight.

In the afternoon we drive to Béziers, where we're surprised by Canal Midis height difference, at the base of this Roman city. The Canal even crosses the Orb river, an extraordinary sight, especially with the beautiful chateau, high above the citycenter, in the background.

16-07-2012 In Béziers we saw the Mediteranean sea in the distance, but today we'd really love to see it up close. Marseillan PlageSo we first head to Sète, a highly photogenic city according to many, but to us it's rather disappointing. Via the southern shore of Bassin de Thau we drive to Marseillan-plage, where we have a lunch of bread and French goat cheese on the beach. Unfortunately we forgot to bring the sunscreen, so we don't stay too long and spend the rest of the day in front of our mobile home, in the shade.

> Carcassonne

17-07-2012 At slightly over an hour driving distance the stronghold of Carcassonne is situated on a hill, totally justly added to Unescos World Heritage List. CarcassonneThe gate itself is impressive enough, but a tour through the old city and the castle and over the city walls contribute to a very good image of how life must have been here.
We go for an alternative route back to the campsite, as we'd like to visit two villages on the way. The choices made by Tom are, again, very interesting and besides bumpy country roads we see enough roundabouts, in the country where this way of traffic light reduction seems to be invented.
The first village, Caunes Minervois, is not really worth the detour, but Minerve, on the other hand, is wonderfully situated on a giant rock, overlooking the stream which has carved itself in the limestone subsoil. Definately one of the prettiest places in this area.

> nature and villages of Languedoc-Rousillon

18-07-2012 Since it was a long day yesterday, with a lot of kilometers, we take it easy today. Only around noon we drive to Lac du Salagou, where we have our first real baguette in the shade. Right away we understand why, until now, we prefered the delicious, fresh, brown bread and decide this was the last piece of white baguette for these holidays. The redbrown colour of the earth in this area forms a pretty contrast with the clearblue sky. Today is therefore extremely clear and extremely warm, even over 35 degrees.
Cirque de MourezeThat's why we don't do much and we even delete the walk at Cirque de Mourèze from the program. We take a peek around the corner to see some of the interesting limestone formations, but quickly hop back into our aircon-car to return to the campsite.

19-07-2012 We start this day in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, a picturesque, Medieval village with a gorgeous abbey. The near Pont du Diable, at the beginning of the Gorges de l’Herault, offers a perfect lunchspot in the shade and at the water. Next we drive back a bit, to the Grotte de Clamouse. We're not exactly fond of caves, but these are truely beautiful and diverse. The low temperatures inside are a welcome change compared to another hot day outside.

20-07-2012 Except for a stroll at the local market in in Béziers and reading a book we don't do much today, as it will be busy enough tomorrow after all, packing our stuff and moving to Mandelieu la Napoule, near Cannes. Furthermore we have something to celebrate today, as the bank gave their final approval for the mortgage on our new house in Elst, so there have to be made some arrangements through the internet.

> More Info

Also check our France info page, where you can find a lot of information about France and come see our Languedoc-Rousillon Photos.

This is the first part of our Travel Journal France 2012. During this trip we've also visited the Côte d'Azur.