20 Jun 2007

Days of Wine and Roses

Well, perhaps that's stretching it. But a trip to a wine cave for 2 x 5 litre refills, and then to the Beziers flower market.

The wine cave is in the nearby village of Ginestas – and having tried a few in recent months, I have to say I think this one is a winner. The red and the rosé are really nice, and 5 litres of each costs me all of 20 euros, and that’s certainly not the cheapest you can buy around here by a long shot. In fact I took a bottle of the red to the group walk a couple of weeks ago, and those who tasted it wanted to know where it came from. I reckon if the locals think it’s a pretty good drop, then I must be onto a good thing.

The wine cave is only open twice a week between 11 and 12 on a Wednesday and a Saturday. I’ve only been on a Saturday, and it seems to be the local meeting place in the village. It’s humming – lots of tasting and banter happening. And there’s a man with his meat van who has cottoned onto a good idea – he parks his truck directly outside at 11.30 and has captive trade tumbling out the door. The surroundings might be industrial and gloomy, with the wine coming out of what looks like a petrol pump – but in this particular cave the attendant is tres chic!

A trip through to Beziers, where there is a flower market every Friday in the main avenue - not dissimilar to the Ramblas in Barcelona, but on a much smaller scale. The market was lovely, and I came away with a solitary chilli plant, as I have had so much trouble buying fresh chillis in the shops here. When I did find them, they were the tiny bird’s eye variety and hot as all hell. So my resolution not to buy any more plants didn’t last long – the court yard is looking decidedly green as I continue accumulating.



The Beziers traffic and road system is well-known for being a nightmare. It’s a standing joke that whenever I get within cooee of the place, I end up in ‘downtown’ Beziers whether I want to or not. Usually when I’m trying to skirt around the place itself, on my way to somewhere else! After the markets, we tried to get to the cathedral at the top of town, which can be seen for miles around. But we were thwarted at literally every turn. Even with the GPS, we ended up in tiny cobbled streets. I was trying to back out of one as I figured I could get stuck if I went any further, when a local advised that I was in fact headed in the right direction for the cathedral, and I should keep going. At this stage, Janice got out and walked ahead to make sure that I could indeed get the car through. We made it out of the labyrinth, only to eventually arrive at the main road up the hill to find it closed off! Thwarted at every turn. So, the views from the cathedral will have to wait for another day – but here’s a photo of it from the distance.


While Janice was here, it was a good opportunity to deal with another old cupboard in an upstairs room. If we’d been able to dismantle it and take it downstairs, I would have used it as a storage and tool cupboard in the garage. But even with the shelves and doors removed, it was still too heavy and unwieldy for us to manage down the stairs. So – over the balcony it went. And this time I did remember to take the before and after photos.

Shortly before ...


.... and sorted!

And here’s a few pictures of the lovely rooftops of Narbonne – we climbed the 251 steps of Narbonne Cathedral tower in the main square – amazing 360 degree views.
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