Vive la France!

Vive la France!

Welcome to my blog -- follow us as we travel around France.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Languedoc - Day 2: Octon & Lodeve

We got up this morning without a lot of ambition, but that's okay because we're on vacation!  I walked to the village for bread, but took a longer route this time.  I saw a lot of the village that I didn't see when here before because I had always driven to the bakery.  It's amazing how much more you see on foot.  I found out there is even a hair salon in the village and the grocery that was hidden away inside the village is still there. However, the boulangerie where I used to buy our daily baguette is gone.  There is a new boulangerie off the main road and they bake onsite. I think the old one was just a "depot" for daily bread delivery. 

After breakfast, we decided to drive around in the hills above Lezignan, so turned left out of our gate.  There is a wine we like that is made in a nearby village, Cabrieres, and we thought we'd try to find the winery.  We went there the last time we were here.  The scenery and views as we drove along were gorgeous.  At times, it seemed that we were on top of the world. The road is a good one, but with lots of twists and turns.  The soil in this area is very red - lots of iron oxide - and they grow grapes up there. The terraine and vegetation reminds me of northern California -- scrubby oaks and grasslands, rocky outcroppings.  We passed through the village of Cabrieres, but didn't find the winery this time.  We continued up the road, and went through the Cirque de Moureze, which is a little canyon where there are different rock formations.  We had been there before, so didn't stop this time.  We were on our way to the village of Octon where we planned to have lunch.

In 2005 on the day before we were leaving to go home, we were going back to Octon for lunch (we had lunch there on our first day in the area and wanted to go back).  However, we never made it to Octon because we had a run-in with a motorcycle, so no lunch that day.  Today, though, we made it to Octon and the restaurant was open, so we enjoyed a nice lunch of skirt steak in roquefort sauce that was quite good.

From Octon we headed to Lodeve, a sizeable town that we had seen from the highway, but had never visited.  The road skirted Lac du Salagou, which is a large man-made lake and recreation area that we drove around via a 1 lane dirt track last time we were here -- I don't think we were even on a designated roadway.  We got to Lodeve around 2:00, but shops still seemed to be closed.  Most shops close from noon to about 2:00 or 2:30 for lunch, so other than restaurants and cafes, things are rather dead in most towns during those hours.  We drove around the town, looked at the cathedral from the outside, and headed back toward Pezenas via the A75 autoroute -- this section is not a toll road.  We wanted to see if the olive shop was open in Pezenas, but it wasn't, nor was the quilt shop, but we did go into the church.  There had been a funeral last time, so we had never been inside.  The church is romanesque and dark, heavy, not light and airy like the gothic churches. 

A quick trip to the super marche for a few essentials, and we were on our way back to the house with a stop at a roadside stand to buy a melon.  I think this is the 5th melon we've bought since we've been here - they are so good!  Like the Tuscan canteloupes, only a little smaller, and very sweet.  The thing about these houses is that while they have most of the utinsels you need, sometimes they aren't the best, so we end up buying a lot of odds and ends.  So far we've bought 2 knives, a peeler, ice cube tray, and a cork screw.  We'll take those with us when we move to the Dordogne, and either leave them there or bring them home.  We also brought a few things with us, like rubber spatulas and measuring spoons.

When we got home, we took our Kindles out on the terrace for a while and read in the sunshine.  It's been breezy today, too, but not as bad as yesterday.

We really enjoyed our drive in the countryside, through the vineyards, and our lunch.  It's been a fairly leisurely day, which has been nice.  Tomorrow, we will probably go further afield.

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