Gruissan, Aude, Wednesday 24th January 2018

Gruissan and Redbeard Tower

In the end, we never visited the Calvet Museum in Avignon as we thought we had seen enough works of Art for a couple of days and instead we opted for a gentle stroll through the city and a coffee in one of the many cafés. Sometimes, there is nothing better than watching the world go by, especially on a nice sunny day.

We left stunning Avignon last Friday and tried to stop for a view of Pont du Gard, but couldn’t get close to it without having to pay, so we had to give it a miss and headed south to Beaucaire to do a bit of shopping and then back north to Comps, where we spent a lovely sunny day and Adonis managed to do some fishing, even catching 2lb pike in the Gardon river.

As Saturday started overcast, we continued further south to Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the Carmargue, where we stopped at the motorhome aire for 13E, collected by guard in the morning. Here we enjoyed some lovely walks in the sandy marshes, as well as the wildlife and the famous Carmargue horses. We looked for the flamingoes too, but they were nowhere to be seen.

Camargue horses and riders

In the afternoon, we walked into town and visited the church dedicated to the 3 saints (Mary Magdalene, Salome and Jacobe) that landed here escaping from Palestine in the first century. We admired the Gypsy Nativity for its great realism and expression on the people’s faces and found it absolutely exquisite, and the Crypt where the bones of the 3 saints were found and now dedicated to Sara, the Patron Saint of Gypsies, where people still live offerings to the saint.


Gypsy Nativity
I loved the realistic expressions on these faces



The crypt where the bones of the Saints were found and St Sara, Patron Saint of Gypsies


Gardian and bull at Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer

On Sunday morning, we drove north and west to Palavas-les-Flots, where we stopped at the superb aire by the Marina and paid 33.32E upfront for a two-day stay, which included access to the shower block, and within easy walk to the town and to the lakes where the pink flamingoes gathered, which I was able to photograph during my walk with Beano on Sunday afternoon.

Flamingoes on lake by Palavas-les-Flots

After my dog walk, Adonis and I went into town- and, being a very warm and sunny day, we found the place heaving with people, walking or finishing a late Sunday lunch in the afternoon sun and it was impossible to find a free table along the quay. The beach was also very lively with children playing on the swings and adults enjoying the warm temperatures. It really felt like spring had arrived. We did find a table in the sun a bit further on opposite the beach and we had a relaxing beer until the sun disappeared.

Charming Palavas-les-Flots
Quaint sight at Palavas-les-Flots
Chairlifts to cross quay

On Monday morning, we walked into town again for a baguette and fishing lures, finding it almost empty and much better to photograph the interesting sights.

Gorgeous light during our morning walk in Palavas-les-Flots
Wonderful sculpture, L’Espoir, (Hope) at the end of the quay
Original planters


We left gorgeous Palavas-les-Flots yesterday morning and arrived at Gruissan by 11 am on a beautiful hot but very windy day, courtesy of the Mistral. That didn’t stop us from making the most of the sun around the Marina and a cold drink at a local bar.

Lovely reflection at Gruissan Marina


Mirror image of bridge at Gruissan

This morning, we visited the old part of Gruissan and what’s left of the Medieval castle and Tour Barberousse or Redbeard Tower and enjoyed some panoramic views of the town below and surrounding landscape.


View of Gruissan from Tour Barberousse (RedbeardTower)
Ruins of Tour Barberousse (Redbeard Tower)



Steep climb to the tower

Tomorrow, we’ll be heading for Argelès-Plage, just north of the Spanish border, where we hope to spend a couple of weeks.


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