Hiking Narbonne: Bages

Just a short distance outside Narbonne, on the Étang de Bages-Sigean (a lagoon connected to the Mediterranean), is the small town of Bages. On Saturday we went there to start our first hike in southern France. We parked near the water and enjoyed the view across the lagoon: There was a cool breeze as we […]

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L’Abbaye de Fontfroide

This Cistercian abbey is just outside Narbonne, though you’d never guess it from the surroundings. I can easily imagine a life of quiet contemplation in these surroundings… We spent a long time in the church, which has beautiful stained glass… and great acoustics. The best part of the visit, by far, was the small private […]

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Canal de la Robine

We’ve been taking regular long walks along the canal that runs through Narbonne. What a great addition to a city landscape! To the south it becomes rural pretty quickly, but to the north we enjoy walking through town and seeing lots of live-aboard boats. To the south are generally spiffier-looking boats, then country. But it […]

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Last week we visited the medieval city of Carcassonne, which claims to be the second most-visited attraction in France (the Eiffel Tower is first). Given all the narrow streets, we were happy to be here in January without the crowds! Look how long the shadows are – and this was at noon! C was visiting […]

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Béziers claims to be the oldest town in France… who knows how many other towns claim the same thing? (Perhaps I’m feeling a little jaded, having just read up on the “Cathar” castles in the area, many of which were built after the Cathars were killed (by Catholics in a crusade).) Regardless, Béziers is a […]

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Welcome to Narbonne

We left the Dordogne a week earlier than originally planned, worn down by the rain and okay but not the greatest accommodations. We came three and a half hours south and a little east to the small city of Narbonne, which is just a few kilometers from the Mediterranean. Three and a half hours isn’t […]

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Standing guard over our favorite bakery in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is the Château de Castelnaud. We visited with our friends S & B during the week before Christmas on one of the rare sunny days of our two months in the Dordogne. (S & B get all the credit – they brought the sun with them on […]

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Les Jardins de Marqueyssac

The week before Christmas we had the pleasure of hosting our friends S & B for a week. The floodwaters were receding from their high point, having flooded the road just a few houses down – and making us happy we’d rented a place on the second floor, so we headed out for the longest […]

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