Un Marché

Saturday is market day in Pézenas – an event not to be missed. The market combines the laid-back attitude of the Mediterranean, with shopping outdoors in the southern sun, with enjoying all that the area can produce so well: olives, melons, tomatoes, seafood, plus so many other fruits, vegetables and cheese from neighboring regions.

Unfortunately the southern sun that we had turned into a monsoon-like thunderstorm while we were there. The boys and I fled to a side street and ducked into an arched stone entrance to a garage to avoid the worst of it.  The others were not so easily thrown off their quest.  We all eventually retreated back to Uncle Milton & Auntie Sharon’s place in time to watch the downspouts turn into fire hoses which made the narrow streets more like canals.

 We enjoyed a ‘market lunch’ – which means eating whatever is bought at the market that morning – which basically is all kinds of good.

We then got a tour of their next project – a significant centuries-old ruin not far from their house.  Wow – some people really know how to take it easy in retirement.

 We went wine-tasting that evening and met up at the winemakers house with some friends from home (home here- not Canada home) who were also spending the long weekend down south and a music prof that taught at the University in the small town that my Dad did 25 years ago.

  The whole thing  felt almost more “it’s a small world” than the Disnelyand ride. The wine is made on the main floor – they live on the floor above. The winemakers are a British couple that left their hectic lives in London as Lawyer & Financier – to move to New Zealand to learn winemaking, then find a vineyard outside of Caux.  They now have an amazing production of wine – not in terms of quantity – but quality.  (you can find out more about them here)  To hear of their personal tending to their vines, the hand-picking, the complete lack or chemical treatment – is quite impressive.  But the proof is in the bottle.  Pretty nice wine production for a small town that doesn’t even have a traffic light (not that we have one here either..)

Une Marche

We took a little stroll around Caux one evening – just to get out.  The town is set up around two concentric circular roads, the innermost road roughly following the remains of the 500 year old city walls.  If you walk in a straight line out from the middle of Caux you will hit vineyards, it is inevitable.  They seem to surround the town on every side.  Fields of wine grapes are to Caux what wheat fields are to Frontier Saskatchewan: they are part of the town image, they are the backbone of the local economy, they are just what’s done around there, and they are everywhere.

A walk seems so much more interesting (at least for us) when you pass by fig trees, aloe plants, grape vines, palm trees, lavender, poppies, some kind of wild rice (? I think), unidentifiable fruit trees, and lots of other things that just don’t grow so well back in Alberta.

Une Marche

  

We took a little stroll around Caux one evening – just to get out. 

 The town is set up around two concentric circular roads, the innermost road roughly following the remains of the 500 year old city walls.  
If you walk in a straight line out from the middle of Caux you will hit vineyards, it is inevitable.  They seem to surround the town on every side. 
 Fields of wine grapes are to Caux what wheat fields are to Frontier Saskatchewan: they are part of the town image, they are the backbone of the local economy, they are just what’s done around there, and they are everywhere.

 

It doesn’t get much more “south” than this: lavender, poppies & a sea shell, strolling through a vineyard

A walk seems so much more interesting (at least for us) when you pass by fig trees, aloe plants, grape vines, palm trees, lavender, poppies, some kind of wild rice (? I think), unidentifiable fruit trees, and lots of other things that just don’t grow so well back in Alberta.

Pézenas & the sea

The next morning we went into Pézenas, and wandered around for a while. The town has an amazing collection of artisan shops, so it’s fun to just walk (or run if your under 12) through the streets.  You could almost get lost in the narrow winding streets lined with stone buildings that have toy stores, leather shops, doll-makers, jewlery fabricators, potters, chefs, silversmiths, cloth vendors and so many other hand-made things. 
We had a short stop for some pastries and café – then headed for the sea.

Luckily the weather held out for us while we were there. We got some baguette, cheese, fruit etc and had a picnic on the beach. The kids wore themselves out jumping over waves, building castles, burying each other, and digging canals. Once they had spent a fair amount of time trying to either hold back the sea one shovel of sand at a time, or empty it out one bucket at a time we concluded that it was in fact an impossible task, so we headed home.  

Pézenas & the sea


The next morning we went into Pézenas, and wandered around for a while.

The town has an amazing collection of artisan shops, so it’s fun to just walk (or run if your under 12) through the streets.

You could almost get lost in the narrow winding streets lined with stone buildings that have toy stores, leather shops, doll-makers, jewlery fabricators, potters, chefs, silversmiths, cloth vendors and so many other hand-made things.

We had a short stop for some pastries and café – then headed for the sea.

Luckily the weather held out for us while we were there. We got some baguette, cheese, fruit etc and had a picnic on the beach. The kids wore themselves out jumping over waves, building castles, burying each other, and digging canals.

 Once they had spent a fair amount of time trying to either hold back the sea one shovel of sand at a time, or empty it out one bucket at a time we concluded that it was in fact an impossible task, so we headed home.