Journey to Southern France 2010 – Part 9

The cathedral of Béziers.

The cathedral of Béziers.

Sketches from Musée Fabregat.

Sketches from Musée Fabrégat.

At Béziers we visit the Musée Fabrégat / Beaux Arts: It is a history of art museum in mini format, there are some quite remarkable works to admire, by Holbein, Rubens, Corot up to contemporary art.

My wife reading in a café in front of the museum.

My wife reading.

While I sketch in the museum, my wife reads in a café in front of the museum, sitting in a porch swing!

The stairs of locks.

The staircase lock.

We also visit a technical site of the 17th century: the staircase lock at the canal du midi. By 8 locks the boats get over a difference of height of 21 metres. We watch a boat mounting all the locks within half an hour. Pierre-Paul Riquet was the engineer that built the technical wonder. In the eighties of the last century a new water slope for ships was built, but it has broken down already and was abandoned in 2001, while the old staircase is still working without problems.

The tunnel of the canal du midi.

The tunnel of the canal du midi.

Oppidum d'Enserune with Étang de Montady in the background.

Oppidum d’Enserune with Étang de Montady in the background.

The canal du midi has to offer another interesting feature: a tunnel for ships, named “Malpas”. It is located near another historical site, the “oppidum d’Ènserune”, a celto-roman town of which remain some fundaments and a single column. Beyound the place there ist the “Etang de Montady”, a former lake that was drained already in 1247. What a remarkable colletion of different historical sites!

Place de la Comédie, Montpellier.

Place de la Comédie, Montpellier.

Next day we drive to Montpellier, where we go ‘bookshopping’ in the great bookshop “Sauramps” in the shopping center “Triangle”. I can draw poeple walking to and fro over the vast “Place de la Comédie”. It’s grotesque how such a big place is used for nothing else than passing it on foot as fast as possible, as lots and lots of people do it. The two fountains (I sit an the steps of one of them) are not in the middle, but far aside.

This was the last day of our stay here, tomorrow we have to go back…

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