Rain does not stop play – Lagrasse, Occitanie, France

We started the day with a lovely dog walk to La Pied de Charlemagne (The walk of Charlemagne) which takes you to Cagaliere rock overlooking the village. This was another recommendation from Claire and Guy, which Pete and Cheryl had walked a couple of days before in lovely sunshine. It was great to have the dogs off lead in the countryside again in a cool morning start.

Lizzy and Lola – freedom at last

The views from the rock at and altitude of 238m were lovely showing the lovely countryside which surrounds the village. We had to take the same route back as we were a little short on time, just over 2 miles was a reasonable start to the day.

Pete and Cheryl then kindly picked us up for a trip into Narbonne. We had sadly rain forecast today so it seemed the best option. After a bit of interesting detour for a closed road, we were soon pulling up in the carpark in the centre of town. We followed signs to the historic centre, usually a good starting point. We turned a corner to find the Cathedral towering over us, though oddly it seemed to be missing a few sections. My trusty Wikipedia informs me that this is not in fact due to bomb damage etc as you may surmise but the fact it was unfinished since being started in 1272. Obviously unlike Sagrada Familia they did not have the tourist ticket revenue to finish this one.

It was just starting to drizzle, so we thought we would grab a coffee, as we have all developed quite a taste for French (or Spanish or Portuguese coffee). We found a very traditional looking place just off the main the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville with the traditional impressive stone with requisite Tricolour flying overlooking the square. This has obviously long been the centre of activity as the middle of the square have been left open to reveal the Via Domitia Roman road which passes through the middle. The cart rucks were still visible in some spots, though not necessarily running parallel to the road so obviously this section had been disturbed over the years. Apparently the first Roman road to be built in Gaul to link Italy to Hispania.

Indoor Market Narbonne

I had read about the indoor market online with various accompanying snack / bars next to the butchers stalls etc where they will cook the produce for you there and then. We did not quite time that well though as we arrived at about 12.45 and the stalls were closing up. There was quite a buzz on the snack stalls though with every seat taken. Sadly dogs were not allowed inside so we could not partake. We realised that we were now trailing a bit late for the strict 12-2pm enshrined French lunch time so after being turned away from a couple of restaurants we managed to get a table alongside the Canal de la Robine. From here we could see views of the Archbishops Palace and associated donjon tower.

Right on cue, as we finished our meal, the rain started to fall more heavily. Therefore that put an end to sightseeing for the day as we briskly walked back to the car. In l’Hôtel de Ville. However wine tasting is a good indoor activity we can plan for despite the rain, so play continues this evening 😀🥂

Sadly, as Lagrasse has 10 restaurants to choose from, they are closed Monday / Tuesday this early in the season. Hence we enjoyed a lunch out today in Narbonne. We have all accumulated good stocks of cheese and cured meats though so after collecting fresh baguettes from the village boulangerie we have the perfect accompaniment to our wine this evening.

Table picnic

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