Classic Hymer from Germany parked outside Montpellier. Very Kool..
We day tripped to Montpellier using both the local buses and trams and to our surprise both the bus and tram drivers were extremely helpful ensuring we were always going in the direction we wanted. Montpellier itself, believe it or not, kind of reminded us of Birmingham. The buildings aren’t similar, nor are the restaurants and shops, but infact it was the people that made the similarity. Montpellier’s inhabitants are very diverse and the visual aspect of people watching felt very similar to our second city. So far, this is one our favourite city’s of the tour and therefore goes on the ‘we should come back’ list which is getting longer and longer. To top off a great day out, we cooked Paella back at the van in Palavas, using the rice grown at I’Ebra.
We left Montpellier early to go north inland to the Gard region which is a known wine area on the Languedoc / Cotes du Rhone border. We parked up for the night at Remollins (free) and spent the first day walking down the river to see the ‘Pont du Gard’. On the second day we attempted to do a wine route on our bikes and we got as far as Collias but all the wineries we passed with ‘degustation’ were closed – I could not believe my bad luck. However, I did manage to take a bath in the river Gard which was almost as refreshing as a cold vin blanc. As a consolation, back in Remollins I purchased a 5 litre box of local wine which proved useful as on the car park we met Claude (Swiss) and Thomas and Tina from Bonn. Thomas and Tina were in a 1986 T25 Volkswagen bus that they had purchased from Lohmar, where I used to live and work – klein welt!!!!
Matt in the river Gard.
I finally got my wine fix at Uzes where we stayed at a winery called Saint Firmin. This was our first ‘French Passion’ stop over and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We ended up staying 2 nights at the vine yard for free and we did try a lot of their wines!! On the Saturday night we completed a ‘happy hour’ with Bob and Tricia from Filey, Yorkshire. It was inspirational to see them touring as Bob was 78 and Trica was 81!!!! They were full of life and Yorkshire humour and it was a pleasure to meet them – “Thanks for the sausages”!!!
Bob and Tricia at the Domaine Saint Firmin
Uzes is a fantastic medieval town, so much so, I have starting peeping into Estate Agents windows again…..
The box did not last as long as I had hoped after happy hour!!! Local Pont Du Gard wine.
Even the Citroens match the shutters, St. Siffret.
The next vine yard stopover was at Domaine Reynaud located just outside the historic village St. Siffret. The village itself was picture perfect and our day was concluded by Luc Reynaud talking us through, in French, all his white, rose and red wines complete with tasting, this totalled 12 wines! Needless to say, after this, Sharon’s French was lubricated sufficiently to keep the conversation two way, and myself loosened enough to buy some of his wines – after all we were staying on his property for the night for free!!! It is now the last day in May and we are planning for some time on the Cotes D’Azur before hitting Italy. I have managed to refrain from all the pizza restaurants so far, waiting for the real thing…….
The Suntor in the distance, parked up at Domaine Reynaud for the night.