Happy summer solstice! We’ve progressed from a long, wet spring to a somewhat less wet, warmer season. The summer solstice is days away, and I’ve been out exploring a few corners of the region.
A trip to the beach
First stop: Gruissan, on the Mediterranean coast south of Narbonne. This area is all about life next to the sea. There’s an ancient fishing village, with small picturesque cabanes de pêcheurs (fishermen’s huts), some now used for holiday rentals, plus tantalizing fresh fish stands. Just around the bend are the salt flats where salt is still produced in the old way, by hand. There are long, beautiful beaches with cabins on stilts (1,300 of them!). All along the water’s edge you can find places to pick up fresh oysters and other seafood. And if all that isn’t enough, there’s a round medieval tower named for the pirate Barbarossa.
We strolled around the site of the old fishermen’s huts at Étang de l’Ayrolle:
I had another “does this guy know me?” moment the other day, when my daily email missive from Brian Andreas had this to say:
That thing you want to do with your whole heart? Yeah, go do it. That thing you kinda want to do if it ever works out? Let it go. Free your mind for something great.
I’m relaxing on my last night with my friends Sophie and François; they’ve hosted me in Nice and Antibes so graciously for nearly a week. Tomorrow I set off on a new piece of this adventure: I have leased a car for four months, and I’ll be picking it up tomorrow at the Nice airport. I’ll drive to Bonnieux to spend one night in the town where Dale and I and a lot of people we have loved celebrated Dale’s 50th birthday ten years ago.
The next day, I’ll pick up Katie from the airport in Marseille, and we’ll drive to Nîmes for a few days’ exploration in the region. And then on Saturday, I’ll move into the house I’ve rented in Bize-Minervois!