Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Southern France and my G10 pt.3

During our stay at Berges, my mom offered to watch the kids so Theresa and I can drive off for a day trip. You got to love Moms. Theresa and I decided to head towards the Mediterranean Sea to the city of Sete and Meze. Both cities are huge fishing towns as by the design of the Canal du Midi that starts from Sete runs through Toulouse and then all the way to the Atlantic ocean some 150 miles in total length.

Before big semi-trucks and airplanes, the Canal du Midi was the main blood line for goods through the southern part of France. This path was much faster path than sailing clear around Spain as well as being much safer by avoiding the pirates of the time. Canal du Midi was built between 1666 and 1681. Hard to believe that this man made canal was dug up with shovels and picks.

Canal du Midi

Canal Lock - In order for the canal to run in mostly a straight line it must deal with elevation changes. It handles this by the use of a series of Locks. This is just one of the 91 locks that were built for the canal.

Since Theresa and I are not much into beaches, we stayed away from the extremely over crowded sand traps and stuck with Sete's and Meze's water ways. Meze is famous for their farming of Mussels and Oysters. This was very evident by the amount of farming platforms we saw there.

Sete is a fishing village. There were huge fishing boats crowding the water ways throughout Sete. In these pictures you will also see some rowers practicing for a sport that really intrigued me. Jousting with row boats.

In this part of the world, they have a sport called Joutes Nautiques. Even though we did not get to see an actual Joust competition, we did see the boats and the crews practicing speed rowing. The jousts are performed in these large row boats manned by one Jouster that stands atop of the raised platform and 10 oarsman that provide the motor power. I really wish we were there on a day of an event. Maybe next time.

Jousting Boats

more to come......

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