Tourists for a day

The 'end of term' jaunt for our Cercle Occitan - tapas and fideua (paella made with pasta rather than rice) and lots of wine in the shade of olive trees and pines in the garden of a restaurant next to the Canal du Midi, then we all boarded the tourist train for a tour of Béziers.

It was difficult to take photos from the little train as it wound its way through some of the narrow streets with just centimetres to spare, but I like this one of the reflections in the windows of Les Halles, the market hall. It was opened in 1891, and it's interesting that some of the buildings reflected in it show the prosperity of that period when the Midi did well from its wine while vines in the rest of France suffered from phylloxera. Rich wine merchants and producers in Béziers and other southern towns built themselves homes that imitated the style of Paris and the north, the steep slate gables here, while next door is a more typical building of this region with terracotta tiles and eaves made from the same tiles.

Thanks for all the good wishes yesterday - we are hoping to carry on like this for another 38 years!

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