15 June 2018

Bouzigues Boat Trip

One of the associations in Sète arranged for a day trip to Bouzigues!

We met at the royal canal, and took a boat across the étang - the timing was perfect! The "turntable" bridge was turned, and the two drawbridges were up!

This bridge is  rotated to let boats pass; it rotates back to let cars drive (right/left). Beyond it, you can see one of the drawbridges raised.



We stopped at an oyster bed for a demonstration and lecture on the cultivation of oysters in the étang. All along the grid above the water, cords full of oysters hang down in the water. On the far left, you can see oysters on the cord that our guide pullled up for us.  On the right, the cord is full of competitors - our guide pulled off the large sponge (in the middle of the photo), as well as other non-oyster cord-dwellers. On the top far right, there is a string of plastic plates that are used to capture the oyster larvae, starting the process of growing these delectable morsels.

Once we landed in Bouzigues, we went in seach of lunch - notice please the one called Chez Julie...

We went on to "Le 29," where they served Café Richard, so my small family is well represented in the town :-)

I ordered from the carte, not the set menu, and had an enormous platter of oysters, mussels, and razor clams, all cooked gratiné - sooo rich!

After lunch, we meandered around - walked along the shore for a while, then up into centre-ville, saw the church, and noticed that Saint Jaques is the patron of Bouzigues

After a little more wandering, we had a nice beer on the patio of a restaurant, looking out over the étang.

At 5:00, we went back out on the pier to take our boat to Sète. On the way, we motored over the hot springs that give the name to Balaruc-les-Bains (the baths)

11 June 2018

Shopping on a Sunday

I finally did it - I went shopping for groceries on a Sunday morning...

Most grocery stores in France are closed on Sundays, that day being a traditional "family togetherness" day. Well, our local grocery store recently got permission to open (year-round!) on Sunday mornings, and I finally had an excuse to try it out. By excuse, I mean that I actually needed some foodstuffs.

I don't think this Sunday shopping thing has caught on yet. I had a very short list, and approximately *half* of the things I needed were *not* stocked :-( The good news is that my cart going home was significantly lighter than it could have been. The bad news is that I had to go back out on Monday.

One interesting thing I noticed - scattered among the shoppers were a good half-dozen fathers with their roughly-8-year-old children, grabbing "miam-y" things off the shelves. It's a different sort of family togetherness. :-)

Hazy?

It's a little hazy.

But is that a purple haze?
Flowers!

Or a rainy haze?
Rain!

Or...
Wine!

We splurged on two bottles of Côtes du Rhône wine - after a quick taste of each, we decided we preferred the one on the right :-)