Posts Tagged ‘beach’


Last Thursday was a Public holiday in France, so I decided on a trip to the seaside. Courtesy of the transport policy of Languedoc Roussillon regional authority, the 50km train journey costs only €2 return! I joined a busy 6 car train on the trip which runs through fairly prosperous countryside then across causeways and between strangely coloured lakes to the sea. It’s a fairly slow ride in parts, taking almost an hour. Outside the summer this line sees almost no rail traffic, people preferring to commute on crowded roads.

The unusual name derives from the Occitan word grau (Latin gradus), which refers to the opening of an étang (shallow saline lake), or the watercourse from an etang into the sea. (Occitan is the old language of southern France, parts of Italy and a small area of Spain. It is still spoken in some remote areas and in cities like Nîmes is seen on street signs).

The Grau du Roi area is obviously very popular, with hordes there on the day of my visit visit despite it being very windy.

The choppy sea.Grau-du-Roi-August-2019-001


Even some of the gulls could not be bothered!


The white buildings are a nearby resort, La Grande Motte.





The town has around 18km of beaches.


It’s a Harley, Jim, but not as we know it. Seen on the town streets.


The canal cuts through the centre of town. There is still a small amount of commercial fishing.



North of the town are the pink lakes.  Apparently the colour comes from a small crustacean. Behind it the massive banks of salt. This is a major industry thereabouts.




A train at Le Grau du Roi waiting to go back to Nîmes. A surprise on my return trip was a ticket check before boarding (almost unheard of in France) and a full baggage search by five fully armed members of the railway police.  Note the overgrown, disused tracks. A common feature in much of France where train service is minimal.

Grau-du-Roi-August-2019-train 1

Grau-du-Roi-August-2019-train 2

A little way north of Le Grau du Roi is the walled town of Aigues-Mortes (dead waters in the Occitan) absolutely full to bursting with tourists. Pictures of the walls were taken from the train window. They will come in useful in future years to keep people safe from  marauders as they did long ago.





Next post, tomorrow sometime, will concern my visit to Avignon last Friday.

Visit to Le Grau du Roi, August 2019

Tagged: , , , on August 21, 2019 by cubsur51

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In tourist mode! Very much enjoying a few days based in Nîmes, even though the city is packed to the rafters. The internet here has been fixed, so I shall be able to upload some pictures later today.

Yesterday I went to the seaside. A popular resort called Le Grau du Roi, about 50 minutes by a fairly slow train from Nîmes. Big plus factor – return fare of €2! Although very busy in summer, the line sees hardly any trains for 10 months of the year. Bus and train fares are the same.

Le Grau de Roi was very busy also and very windy.

On the way back all train passengers were held for a security check, bag search etc, conducted by five armed members of the railway police. Most unexpected. I don’t think they were looking for anyone in particular, but yesterday was a public holiday and perhaps it was just a matter of keeping groups of young men with far too much beer off the train.

Pictures to follow.

In tourist mode!

Tagged: , on August 16, 2019 by cubsur51

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Soulac sur mer beach 4th August 2019

A better day weatherwise, although cloudy this afternoon. Pictures of the town’s beach taken late morning with the tide going out. The sea retreats about 300 metres at low tide.


Soulac sur mer beach 4th August 2019

Tagged: , on August 4, 2019 by cubsur51



Soulac sur mer food fair 27 July 2019

There was a nice little food fair last night in the square outside the historic church. Numerous stalls selling various ethnic and traditional food, beer, wine and champagne also. I have to say that the biggest queue was at the burger stand but they did look very nice. I had a dish of araignée de porc, a variant on the asian recipe at

It had finally stopped raining mid afternoon, this first picture was taken at about 1900hrs.








Shortly before sunset, the beach was deserted. Many people always come to watch the sun go down. Perhaps that’s a relic of ancient times when prayers would be offered to make sure it came back the following day.


About 15 minutes before sunset but then the clouds got in the way.


Soulac sur mer food fair 27 July 2019

Tagged: , , , on July 28, 2019 by cubsur51

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Wet and windy in the Médoc

Two days of fairly constant rain now, not too heavy but enough to be annoying.

Le Verdon again, quite a contrast this morning to earlier in the week.




Wet and windy in the Médoc

Tagged: , , on July 27, 2019 by cubsur51

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The heat is on!

In France,Médoc on July 21, 2019 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

I am south-west France where a heatwave is forecast for Monday and Tuesday. It is expected to be so hot – 35 – 40ºC – that even the desert animals at the circus will need sunshades!



The beach at Le Verdon today.



Visit to Azenhas do Mar, July 2019

In Portugal on July 20, 2019 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

Azenhas do Mar is a picturesque seaside village about nine miles (14km) from Sintra. If you don’t have a car it is an easy bus ride from the railway station at Portela do Sintra (the stop before Sintra) on Scotturb bus route 441. This runs every day at irregular intervals, but once or twice every hour

There isn’t much of a beach at Azenhas do Mar. It is at the bottom of a 150 foot (50 metre) cliff accessible by a steep and narrow path. At the bottom you are greeted by this sign!
I would imagine it’s a joke. The only way to get a mobile home there would be to lower it by crane.

The beach from above. As you can see, the yellow caution flag was flying. It was very windy and the sea quite rough. Not quite mid-July weather.

A restaurant clings to the side of the cliff above a kind of man made pool behind sea wall.

There are some fairly interesting, even eccentric buildings in the village. This one is an hotel.

I have no idea what this one is or was.

This is the old laundry house. Once common all over Portugal they are now almost all now out of use. Piped water and washing machines saw to that.

The village clings to the sides of a steep valley and cliff.

The streets are tiny and closed to visitors cars. If you go there, be ready for some walking!

There is plenty of evidence of man’s attempts to keep the cliff from falling down.