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Thursday, September 08, 2011
Around town...in the South of France
The night that we arrived in France we decided to stay in Toulouse and head out on the open road the following morning as we were arriving quite late. After quickly checking into our hotel we headed straight back out for dinner. Honestly, I hadn't given Toulouse a thought. We were only there for a few hours, most of which would be spent sleeping. However, as I have happily experienced many time before, often times when you have no plans or expectations is when you can have the best time.
One objective for taking the back roads during our drive to Neffies the next morning was to explore the countryside. We wanted to see rural France rather than the endless, bland motorway. Along the way we found a lookout point. We parked the car and worked up an appetite (which was to be rewarded with cassoulet) and when we finally got to the top (all of ten minutes later...) we were rewarded.
Our last night in France we decided to go to Pezenas for dinner. It's much larger than Neffies and we knew they would have restaurants open even though it was a Sunday evening. We were told to make sure that we found the "real center of town" for the best restaurants, and to avoid the touristy bit at the beginning. I think all the sun had gone to our heads because we didn't listen. Our dinner might not have been the best of the weekend, but this town sure was lovely.
I awoke early on our last day in France. We had a couple hours until breakfast but I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. The sun was out and I could feel it getting hot already. I took this chance to take a walk around town and enjoy the peace and quiet that only early morning can offer. Early morning light is the best light, to me at least, even though I rarely see it. It was a perfect way to say goodbye to this town I felt so at home in, even only after a couple of short days.
We spent the last day driving along the coast, visiting small town after small town before heading to Montpellier and then onward back to London. The sun was strong and the heat made me tired (though I was not complaining). We arrived at Marseillan and had a wander around this sleepy town on the Mediterranean. It was almost as if I was in a dream. Lunch on the marina, a cool breeze from the sea, gelato in the shade - a perfect way to end our trip...