Posted by matthew on Jul 6, 2005 in travel

After Castelnou we headed out for a drive to a lake. The plan was to have a swim, but about 5 minutes into our journey we were in the middle of a deluge that turned into a hailstorm. It was very dramatic. We waited by the side of the road until it cleared and then headed on our way. By the time we got to where we were going it was dry and we swam anyway (well, I didn’t, but I wasn’t feeling like it). Oh yeah, and we ate icecreams.


On our way back, we found a tiny tiny village on a hilltop called Eus. You pronounce that “UH”. We laughed about that for hours. What would you say if someone asks where you live? “Uh… UH”. Anyway it was beautiful.

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Posted by matthew on Jul 6, 2005 in travel

These shots are of a beautiful village & chateau called Castelnou, which is about an hour’s drive from Sigean. I highly recommend going there. There’s a cafe and winery, of course, but the highlights are the views and the buildings dating back to 989AD. The town is now inhabited mostly by artisans who sell to the many visitors. We spent a couple of hours there just taking everything in.

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Just when we started thinking that we were the only non-French tourists there, we ran into this Dutch couple with their dog. Lotte introduced herself and started talking to them before she realised they were Dutch. We all introduced ourselves as “Geoff from Canada, Matt from Australia”, etc. until Lotte said “and me and my sister and her boyfriend are from Holland”. The Dutch guy smiled and said “We are also from Holland but we are from the REAL Holland!” Then Lotte started to speak to him in Dutch and he realised that she was actually from the real Holland too, so we all laughed.


And here are some more from Castelnou. The sign was outside a small art/craft marketplace that was deserted. Looks like it belongs in an episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo.

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The House & Bill at Port La Nouvelle

Posted by matthew on Jul 6, 2005 in travel

Here are a couple of shots taken of Doris at the house at Hameau du Lac. The town’s name means “hamlet on the lake” and that’s exactly what it is. The house was actually quite a bit bigger than I had imagined from the photos, with three floors and an outside balcony and a living area at the back with a very high ceiling. Dory slept in a loft in the living area. The first photo shows Dory and Lotte in the kitchen getting ready for dinner on Thursday night. The second is Dory posing with a beautiful portrait that Justin painted of her using Nutella on a crepe on Friday morning. Crepes are sold in packages everywhere there.

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This last one is very special because it comes with a story. Later on Thursday night we went to Port la Nouvelle, which is the local resort village on the beach. We were standing on the square watching a musical comedy duo play fishing songs and polkas when Bilby grabbed Lotte for a dance and impressed the locals. Immediately after completing one dance a man in his 60s looked over at Bill and suggested gleefully that he take his wife for a spin. Bill manfully accepted the task and the lady looked like her face was about to explode with excitement as they danced around in circles. The moment captured below is when she was completely overcome and decided she should jump onto Bill and wrap her legs around him. The look on Bilby’s face says it all.