By Veronica


Tuesday is backblipped. And so is today (Wednesday) for that matter. Once again I had a massive choice of photos, and it took hours to trawl through them. I chose this one because it's completely different from yesterday's -- it reminds me of a Canaletto painting of Venice. My album of photos from both days is here. It's been my first serious outing with my new lens -- the most expensive bit of camera kit I've ever bought -- and I am delighted with it. It's so versatile; from the photo above, to portraits, to details. I took a longer lens with me but didn't even take it out of the bag.

Anticipating crowds, we were up early to be served a copious breakfast by Isa. I'd taken the precaution of booking tickets to visit ships online before we left home. Even so, when we got to the quay at about 10 o'clock, the queues were massive. After umm-ing and ah-ing, I'd gone for the combined ticket to visit all the ships except the Hermione, as opposed to the one for just the Hermione. 

This may have been a mistake. We chose the massive Russian windjammer the Kruzenshtern, built in 1926 (on the left of this blip) for our first visit. I suppose it's hardly surprising that security was draconian, with all bags being inspected and visitors scanned; we ended up queueing for 45 minutes. On board there wasn't much to do except wander around the deck looking for photo opportunities, although we did get to peep into the tiny Orthodox chapel. The Russian crew were not very chatty.

Then we queued for La Grace, but after about ten minutes' wait, the crew announced they weren't letting anyone else on board because they had to go and fight a battle. After an unsuccessful search for the trawler hosting an exhibition of Isa's sculptures, we joined thousands of other people on the quay watching La Grace and the Shtandart (on the right of my blip) slowly manoeuvre around the harbour (the Shtandart being towed by a dinghy due to lack of wind) firing shots at each other. It was a lovely day by now, so there were nice photos to be had (once most of the crowd had gone so I wasn't getting random heads in the way).

After this, we walked up Mont St Clair to visit the Cimetière Marin made famous by Paul Valéry. It was a bit of a hot slog and contrary to our belief Georges Brassens is not buried there, but in the other less picturesque cemetery. We wandered back down to the port through the narrow streets once occupied by Italian fishing families, and not having bothered with lunch due to eating so much breakfast, rewarded ourselves with ice cream on a terrace overlooking the canal.

By now our feet were so sore we didn't really want to contemplate any more ship visits, so our tickets were a bit wasted -- we'd have been better just signing up for the more elaborate visit of the Hermione. We walked back along the canal to the Pointe Courte, which was looking lovely in the sunshine, picked up the car, and drove home. For those who are tempted, here's the view from Isa's house, and here's the house (on the left). There's still lots more to see in Sète, so we'll be back.

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