Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Beziers France & Beaches of Agde - March 20, 2011

Beziers France
Statue of Beziers' "Most Famous Son"

Emma dreaming of her future car!

The kids love the Carousels :)

Adam working his magic with the fountain - "RISE" he said
to the water, and it magically rose for him!

View from the park that we stumbled upon

This way to the top, the gigantic and monumental fountain Titan
Injalbert sculpted by Jean Antoine in 1877, completed in 1892.

It measures 17 meters tall and represents TITAN (or ATLAS),
      which according to legend is on his shoulders the weight of the world and builds
 on a large shell St. Jacques put on a chariot led by angels (from Center Blog)

The back of the statue-Taken by Nathan
who wandered around and found things that the
rest of us didn't!

We did find funny looking ducks

Ah Haaaaa! Here is a picture of the space capsule potty!

This little guy, along with a bunch of his cousins, were running

Loved these windows with the blooming flowers smiling
down at us

Pastel hotels at Cap d'Agde

The kids romping in the sand and seashells

Ahhhhh - the sun and sea

LOTS and LOTS of seashells!  They were everywhere!



The rock wall behing Emma was part of the volcanic
rock portion of the beach - very interesting!

Hunting for the perfect shells

Taken by Andrew - very cool pix!

After a late Saturday night, Andrew was very nice and let the kids sleep in again on Sunday so we didn't get out the door until after 12:00.  Our original plan was to pack a picnic lunch, look around Beziers, which is about an hour southwest of Montpellier, and then find a beach and enjoy a picnic lunch by the sea.  We ended up eating our picnic lunch in the kitchen before heading out - same food, very different atmosphere!

Beziers was the first town that we have visited where the Tourist Information center was closed on a Sunday!  So, we had to figure the town out with the help of our limited D.K. Eyewitness France travel guide. We were able to locate the town center :)  and the statue of Paul Riquet on our own and then stumbled on a large beautiful Jardin (Garden)/park area.

Paul Riquet (Beziers' most famous son) is the engineer from Beziers credited with the planning and construction of the Canal Du Midi which is a 149 mile canal flowing from Sete to Toulouse that encouraged Languedoc trade. Completed in 1681, it consists of a complex system of locks, aqueducts and bridges and snakes between plane trees, vineyards, and villages.

From the statue of Paul Riquet - we followed the beautiful tree lined walk to the Plateau Des Poets, a very expansive garden/park area complete with ponds, a playground, many statues as tributes to various poets, funny looking ducks, little lizards etc... We enjoyed strolling through this area and I could imagine going there on a sunny afternoon with a good book, blanket, baguette and bottle of wine to relax, read, and nap on the grass. This was a very beautiful, peaceful and inviting garden!  Adam loved it too - he found a huge, low tree that he could climb and made it to the top!

From the garden, we walked back up toward the Paul Riquet statue again, checked out the other end of the tree lined walk and then agreed that it was time to find the beach.  Andrew pulled out the map, pointed out where Sete is in relation to Beziers and explained that there should be a lot of beach between the two along the sea - sure enough - we found numerous beaches and settled on Cap d'Agde - a great choice! The Tourist Information center for this very touristy area, was open!  The lady manning the desk on that sunny Sunday explained the map of the area to us - where the sandy beach was, where the volcanic rock beach was, and where to park - We,said our "mercis" and went to the beach!

Although many of the restaurants were closed along the shore, probably due to the early time of year, plenty of people were out enjoying a stroll in the sand or along the sidewalks in front of the seaside hotels.  The beaches were full of seashells that we all dug through to find the most beautiful and worthy shells to take home with us.  Andrew and the boys enjoyed skipping rocks and flat seashells while Emma enjoyed looking at the shells and checking out the view.  We saw a wind surfer, a speed boat and plenty of sailboats - it was a windy, cool day so perfect for sailboats!  As we walked down the beach, we found the volcanic rock area that the tourist info. lady told us about - very interesting formations which were easy to climb and fun to look at.  I think we spent about an hour or a little more at Agde and really enjoyed the relaxed nature of the sea lapping at the sand and the mediterranean breeze blowing.  Maybe we will pack that picnic another time and head back there!

The trip home was uneventful - we made it!  Had some dinner, watched an episode of Bones and everyone headed to bed.  Emma and Adam had school Monday morning and I was praying that Nathan's teacher would call!  We did talk with her Monday night and are scheduled to meet with her on FRIDAY - ugh!  Maybe he'll start before we come home????

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