I am a product of the failed French language program in Canada. Despite my 7+ years of French I can barely string together the basics, such as “je ne parle pas francais”. I learned this on our recent weekend jaunt to the south of France. Firstly, I love the fact that Barcelona is situated in a way that means a weekend jaunt to the south of France can be achieved in a mere 2 hour drive. For us it was closer to 4 as we headed a couple hours past the Spanish border to the very small village of Bezut where our friend has a home. What an absolute luxury to not only be invited to stay in their 100 year old stone house but to be fed wonderful home cooked meals, provided a rental car to explore the area and driven back and forth to Barcelona. It wasn’t until I was faced with the inability of asking for simple things in the market or at a restaurant that I realized I have a fairly decent grasp of Spanish and none at all of French.
We spent Saturday in Nimes, an old Roman outpost where the best preserved Roman coliseum is situated. It is still used for bull fights, a tradition that persists in that part of France despite it’s decline in Spain. Saturday we made a brief visit to Uzes to visit an (overrun) weekend market, leaving with some white heather honey and nougat, enroute to the Pont de Gard. This is another Roman remain in the region that has been rightly classified as a UNESCO heritage site. Click the photo for more pictures.
Sunday we chilled out at home with our friend and his family, admiring the view of the vineyards out the kitchen window, seriously, it was that cliche. The drive home was even more enjoyable than the drive there as we had more light to admire the landscape. Despite the mostly perfunctory border it was obvious when we had crossed back into Spain. France is a much more affluent country and it can be seen in the architecture and infrastructure of the countryside. Despite the beauty of Barcelona, especially the centre, the stark construction of the Franco period dominates the landscape and really stands out after the hamlets and villages of the south of France.