Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Drive

Croissants for breakfast! Dave walked to the local boulangerie (bread store) to buy croissants for breakfast. Yumm!

Next task was to figure out how to do laundry. Faite accompli! While the cycle takes much longer than in the states, we just drank coffee and read guidebooks while we waited. (We had a surprise visit from John, the Brit we met yesterday, who dropped off some guide books he thought we'd find interesting. So we had new reading material about hikes in the Languedoc region.) Only problem with laundry is where to hang the clothes to dry them. We have a small drying rack and there's a larger one we can borrow in the basement, but it looks like we should plan to do no more than one load of laundry per day. Weather today was dry but only in the 50's, so the clothes dry slowly. I expect that will change as the weather warms. Tomorrow should be in the low 70's and partly sunny.

After lunch, we headed out for a Sunday drive aiming for the village next to ours, called Murveil-les-Beziers. It features a medieval city center that is a maze of narrow alleys, steps and pathways. Of course the town was originally built on the highest point of ground and walled for protection. We drove along some small scenic roads, Dave in search of a small ruined castle he could see on a hillside, me nagging about not going down these narrow lanes where two cars couldn't pass and we didn't know if we were allowed. And how would we turn around. Imagine now Dave's little smirk of a smile as he manages to get reasonably close to the castle. More driving brought us to the Orb river and a closed bridge, causing us to backtrack a few km in order to cross the Orb in a detour location. We drove along hilly areas dotted with vinyards where ever there was arable land. Much of the rocky hills can't be cultivated. We ended up at the medieval Abbaye de Fontcaud which was begun in the 10th century, was important in spreading early Christianity and was on the route to Compostello. (Medieval pilgrimage to Spain) It was ruined in the wars of religion, rebuilt but not to it's former glory and today is again in ruins. We decided not to tour it until our children come to visit as there's a 5 Euro fee to go in and by the time we got there it was 6 PM and closes at 6:30 PM. More on this later.

Grape vines are just setting their first leaves. David's Castle

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