June 2009 Villeneuve-les-Beziers, sightseeing and beaches
Lets Dance was the order of this month in Villeneuve-les-Beziers
Ryanair are now flying into Beziers - this area is up and coming and property prices are increasing in this area.
Every weekend in June was party weekend, we had live music on the beach in Valras, much entertainment during our five weeks total stay in this village. We choose carefully the concerts we saw this month. We loved the thrill of the weekend of the pageant, when all the local people in the village put on a show at the side of the canal - all boats were removed from this port for this special weekend.
Very good markets to visit in this area, Portiragnes Plage also Beziers with it's colourful flower markets on a Friday.
Good friends are a blessing when it comes to boating - we met new friends living on boats in this port, new and old friends living in or near this village. Our stay here was a delight and Christian and Chantal made us most welcome.
A stage show on the canal du Midi at Villeneuve-les-Beziers + a music show in the Square.
Two storms during the night and two evenings of rain, thankfully the rain did not affect any of the festivals, also rain gives me chance to catch up on writing the web site, or to organise my many photographs. As always we did have a few days of the strong wind, which stops John from his cycling. Next month we hope to watch the tour de France come through Béziers.
Villeneuve-les-Beziers - Main square
Villeneuve-les-Beziers - Town hall
The village church in Villeneuve-les-Beziers was originally built in the 11th century. This village has some very nice old houses, with many little delightful squares it has a state of the art glass fronted Town Hall in this village square. A great second hand English book shop opens on a Sunday in the village - a great meeting place too.
Safe arrival of Daniel - a son born to my best friend Sue in Leeds
Congratulations Sue and Matt what a huge day this must have been for you both, your son in your arms at last, we wish you a happy family life together. It's pure joy to see you become a mum Sue, your son looks so much like you both - we look forward to meeting Daniel when we are next home. Our daughter Louise brought with her a very special bottle of red wine for our anniversary and Fathers day which this year is on same day as our anniversary. I wonder what Daniel brought for his dad Matt?
Daughter Louise started her holiday with us in Villeneuve-les-Beziers
Louise's holiday, her request after a long Canadian winter was "can you be near a beach with the boat " - of course we said. We will moor the boat near enough for you to spend time swimming, jogging and relaxing - "wonderful Louise said", she booked her flights to England then onto France.
Louise enjoyed time with her brother and sister in Manchester en route. It was so nice to have her a board, especially since Louise has not cruised the canal du Midi before - only visiting the Midi canal during the winter months when we were moored in Carcassonne so cruising here was all new to her.
Exploring the Mediterranean beaches
A picnic on our favourite beach - Valras Plage - not too busy and lots of nice restaurants and bars
The beaches we visited in the Midi between Beziers and Etang de Thau
My extra large evening beach cocktail was so nice.
Valras beach seen above, is just a 9km car ride from Villeneuve-les-Beziers. We hired lounge bed's, a table with brolley, the owner would even have a pizza delivered to us if we wished, on site shower (well a hose), toilets and our own space, Louise said it felt like a 5* hotel she was staying in. I loved to shop in this town it has a great fish market too.
Serignan Village is a delightful village right on the river Orb with a large very modern contemporary art museum- I visited when John was away in London. The beach of Serignan is a peaceful one with just two restaurants on the beach - nice to hear the waves lapping as you drink or eat dinner here.
Louise jogged along the river Herault from Agde to the beach at Grau d'Agde.
Beach at Grau d'Agde
straight into the sea to cool off
Valras, thanks mum and dad, this is just what I needed, we enjoyed this holiday together.
Louise at Valras beach
We moored over night in Vias port, (new electric and water not yet working in this port). Friends Clive and Di aboard "Harvink" were moored here, we enjoyed lunch together on board Moet. Later we enjoyed a swim and stroll on the beach in Vias which was very busy, later cocktails in a local bar - the canal du Midi has a truly Mediterranean feel. Good weather for Louise's visit helped of course, Louise was so pleased her tan was progressing well. The following two weeks after Louise's visit we hit over 40 degrees, it was far too hot and we were grateful for the shade of the plane trees and our newly bought air conditioning mobile unit. It was bliss to sleep again - we could have stayed here in this port all summer, especially under the shaded plane trees.
Where in the world can you explore a canal so diverse as this one and have every thing you dream of so close by. Having our boat in Villeneuve-les-Beziers this month with electric and water, good friends and family joining us here was bliss.
Mike and Ursula worked hard on Bon Adventure's make over in Allemand - July 2007
Chantier Naval Allemand on the River Herault
We moored for two nights in Agde, a Greek cite we also explored again. A good mooring here by the grand round lock. We visited Ursula and Mike when they were working on Bon Adventure in Allemande x 3 they enjoyed having a break and taking time out for lunch with us and meeting Louise on another visit. A swim and stroll on the beach at Grau d 'Agde.
We later visited Ursula and Mike in the port of Vias, they invited John myself and Willem to join them for one of their curries. Willem has read and heard so much about curry nights on board "Bon Adventure", live music with Willem's guitar added to this evening.
Baking heat John repairing Ursula's boiler
Ursula cooks a curry on board in searing heat
Our mooring in Villeneuve in front of Camping Les Berges du Canal
Garry and Willem in concert at
the camping bar in Villeneuve-les-Beziers
Our friend Willem visited us for a few days, Willem and John set off for a long weekend in London. They were booked in to see Ray Davis (Kinks) in a picnic concert in Kenwood House, London. Unfortunately a storm prevented them from seeing their idol. They had never seen a storm like it - washing road cones down the street - it was impossible to get into the venue, as they approached everyone was coming out, they assumed the concert had been cancelled, but it went ahead - Willem and John thought it would be no fun sitting in a deck chair in the storm. They still enjoyed a wonderful weekend together in London. I enjoyed my time on the boat - water colour painting and meeting up with friends, the time soon went by and they were back.
Camping Les Berges du Canal, Promenade des Vernets, 34420, Villeneuve Les Béziers.
Willem and John check out the canal system in London - it was a very busy day in Camden Lock.
John took Willem to explore the pubs and the market at Camden also the locks here, they thoroughly enjoyed their visit, including a boat trip on the River Thames, they came back for a rest they said - Willem was soon on his way to Paris for a holiday with his son. Willem brought us a wonderful gift of a massive hard drive, to hold our music and he added music videos and films for us to relax too.. .bless you THANKS.
Garry and Annabelle join us for a drink on board Moet after a trip along the canal to cool off.
Garry worked hard fitting and designing our new bathroom sliding window cover. Garry also removed a cupboard in our kitchen this month. We needed space to fit a second 12 volt larder fridge. Our fridge was delivered from the UK, to our friend Andrea's house in Marseillette, oh boy we need a new fridge especially in this baking weather, it was hard to stay cool, but swimming in a near by beach was very helpful, then a cool drink in the evening to follow.
I enjoyed pastry baking lesson's from Maggie, we almost baked ourselves in the process, thanks.
Next stop for us was a drive of 700km round trip to Buzet from Villeneuve-les-Beziers. John and I never tire of driving through France, we enjoy keeping the car up with the boat, though it can be hard work for John to cycle back to collect the car, from 20 to 80km he has cycled.
We enjoyed visiting Mike and Jane now moored in Buzet-sur-Baise, Canal Garonne,
We enjoyed an over night stop with Mike and Jane on "Drumsara" moored in the port of Buzet-sur-Baise - Mike and Jane are hoping to cruise the River Lot this summer, unfortunately at the time we visited this was not possible, due to dredging the river.
Mike and Jane gave us much help in planning our holiday to Australia this coming winter - a very exciting time for us, a great deal of our time has been spent planning our trip , now its all booked YES.
We stopped off at Moissac port on our return journey, visiting Iain and Kaz, catch up with all their news on how "Noble Marine" is progressing, thankfully they are very busy indeed. Friends Warren and Bernie were moored in Moissac this was a lovely surprise to meet up with them again, all in all it was a very social weekend.
Back "home" in Villeneuve-les-Beziers we both had many jobs aboard Moet, which kept us busy.
Gambetta holiday apartments, 34420 Villeneuve-les-Beziers, France
Keith and Pat we met on the quay side, admiring some art during a car boot Sunday, we started chatting as you do. We shared a drink, then a lunch, or two, then beach time together. Pat and Keith have worked hard for 3 years renovating this house. Their property is called Gambetta apartments - 4 are ready to rent, 1 to go.
John and I helped Keith, Pat and family pass their new 1st floor furniture - through the large window on the first floor, stairs in French houses are usually small.
I took photographs of Gambetta apartments for their web page on holidaylets.co.uk - I love to meet people who have renovated property, it is a hobby + dream of mine - I hope we learn as much as we can, one day we will come across the right property for us.
Village of Pezenas where Moliere performed here in 1655 for Prince de Conti.
Nice property in Pezenas village - a full day spent traveling in the car, we visited many different villages en-route, friends had recommend worth while places to visit. A lunch in Pezenas, "Ville d'art" - this is an artists paradise here, so many art shops and paintings on display. The tourist office in this town was most helpful - guided us with the help of a map to a most enjoyable two hour walk - exploring the village, we so enjoyed, lots of stops for drinks and ice cream.
Village of Clermont-l'Herault. A rest day was to follow for us, it was needed after our day of exploring and walking.
The area we visited is within easy access from the Mediterranean coast, (by car). The vast vineyards, rivers - especially for swimming and kayaking. The Languedoc National Park with its astounding scenery and the spectacular Lake du Salagou for swimming and water sports. The nearest city in this area is Montpellier (capital), a lovely city to visit or stay. Montpellier has a medical school dating back to the 12th century. Pézenas Tourist Office
Cévennes National Park
In altitude it rises from 378 to 1,699 metres above sea level.
John and I spent time driving and exploring the Languedoc National Park, a different world from the canal.This is a spectacular National park, created in 1970 and declared a "World Biosphere Reserve" by UNESCO in 1985. High limestone cliffs, a very memorable day out in the flaming heat of June - we could have spent a lot more time exploring this area - 500 sq miles of wonderful forests, mountains, deep gorges, with many a strange rock formation, I am sure we only had a glance of this area, though we did reach our summit 1124m ( D922). We started from Beziers on D15 to Roujan. We stopped off to visit "Castle-Abbey of Cassan" in the village of Roujan - well presented and preserved former Royal Priory. Hospitality of board and lodgings is offered to pilgrims on the Compostela Route. A private family birthday party was taking place during our visit and we felt honoured to be visiting on this day.
Château-Abbaye de Cassan Castle-Abbey of Cassan
The dining room
I loved the old kitchen in Cassan, if I could find a home with this size of kitchen I would be in dream land, cooking for friends and family in a kitchen like this - I would miss our cruising so I can't win!
Roquebrun beach on the river Orb, wonderful canoeing further up river.
Roquebrun beach on the river Orb
We followed the D908 through the park and visited some very spectacular villages and saw some wonderful wildlife too - we had hoped to see the mouflons, eagles and wild boar we were told about, but sadly I think they were asleep when we were around. Our return journey followed the D14 back into Beziers. We stopped off en route home in this village of Roquebrun for a music and wine festival evening, which was very lucky for us. We bought some wonderful red Saint-Chinian wine - we were in the St-Chinian wine region. We savoured this wine later, sadly forgot what it was called. (No wine note book). Some times it's not possible to get hold of a bottle you have tasted, as it's only sold local - sampling these lovely wines is part of visiting France. Languedoc-Roussillon is the world's biggest wine-producing region.
Villeneuve-les-Beziers 18th century round lock - less hire boats out on the canal this month..
Getting ready for visitors is a major time task for us, my sister Kathy and husband are joining us next month, we are to cruise to Carcassonne with our visitors. We would not want to be without our visitors, sharing the canal through new eye's is always a blessing.
YES we have a second 12 volt working fridge. John fitted a new battery monitor, I think he lost half his body weight in fluid the day he fitted this. We are due to cruise the Midi for the month of July. We need to know what power we are using from our battery bank, a helpful tool to have on board.
Next month we cruise the 240km of the Canal du Midi - Tranquil days we hope along the journey.