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since 02/11/2005


Lodève Cathedral France, Languedoc - Roussillon 17/06/2009

Religion wars in the Languedoc Roussillon

Lodève Cathedral France, Languedoc - Roussillon The Cathedral is visible from all the roads which lead to Lodève, with its imposing 57 metre high square bell tower set in the heart of the town. As on many Saturday afternoons, my son had a football match, this time in Lodève. Years of matches have allowed me to discover a large part of the Languedoc Roussillon region. On arriving in Lodève, the Cathedral struck me as the obvious classical visit. Lodève is situated in the bottom of a deep valley, and therefore any road taken to get there leads from the surrounding mountains above. Lodève being a small town of less than 7000 inhabitants, the Cathedral tower lofts way over the four-storey red tiled houses. Having dropped my son off with his team, I parked up not far from the Cathedral entrance, I thought I'd take a few photos of the outside first. I wanted to walk around it to catch the south façades rare and faint winter sunlight. To its right, and west end, glued to the cathedral is the town hall which is closed to the public by a grand gate. No access west wise. The north façade and entrance in front of me looks like many other Gothic Cathedrals with its large stone blocks and buttresses which have been darkened by time. Once around the apse to the east, with its tightly fitted buttresses, the cathedral is joined to the endless houses which form the side street. Tough for the south façade photos! Back to the entrance... The grand ancient wooden doors were wide open, and on the wall outside, a map of the cathedrals ...

La Couvertoirade, Aveyron, France 24/07/2008

900 years of history

Glastonbury (England) 17/07/2008

A unique and unforgettable experience.

Aqua Brava, Roses, Spain 21/06/2008

Slide it!

Serrat d'en Vaquer, Perpignan 06/04/2008

The invisible Fort

Palace of the Kings of Mallorca, Perpignan 10/03/2008

Remains of Spain on the plain

Hyde Park, London 08/02/2008

An Oasis in the desert

San Pedro, Spain 06/02/2008

Souvenirs of Paradise

San Pedro, Spain San Pedro, in the natural park of the Cabo de Gata, along the Costa de Almeria, in Andalusia, was such an exceptional place that I kept it to myself for over 15 years! But the inevitable has happened, and people will always talk about good things, which has lead to a profound and sad change of this, what used to be, paradise on earth! ¨˜"°º•۝•º°"˜¨¨˜"°º•۝•º°"˜¨¨˜"°º •۝•º°"˜¨¨¨˜"°º•۝•º°"˜¨¨ It was through a cockney friend of mine that I first heard of San Pedro, 20 years ago. It was during my holidays in Mojacar, not so far north from San Pedro, that my curiosity got me there. To get to San Pedro, I took a bus from Almeria, to Las Negras. Once on Las Negras beach, I turned left and walked over the cliffs, for a good 3 of 4 kilometers along a sometimes very narrow path, by the sea front. Now this is at the same time the advantage, and the disadvantage of San Pedro. It's a long way to bring your shopping and rucksack, but the path is so bad, that you can't even get a bicycle there, so you won't be disturbed by motorised vehicles of any type, during your stay. The first glimpse of San Pedro appears whilst you're on the worst part of the path, on the edge of a 30 metre high drop to the sea with sandy collapsing soil under your feet, and a cliff high above you the other side! I brought my kids here once, as they were really good walkers, but I must point out that it is dangerous, and there have been ...

The Pic du Tantajo, Bédarieux, France 26/01/2008

High in the Sky

The Pic du Tantajo, Bédarieux, France Its an amazing sense of freedom to be right on the top of a dominating mountain, with a 360° panoramic view over miles and miles of valleys, towns, and forest land. The Pic du Tantajo offers this sensation. From the top of this mountain, you'll see the winding river Orb and afar, the sea, which looks like a mirror reflecting the Mediterranean sunshine. At the end of autumn, dried leaves are burnt forming chimneys of smoke here and there, which rise up into the clear deep blue sky, almost as though they were communicating through smoke signals. The vineyards trace their neatly aligned branches, wound around their wire supports, giving green and brown striped parcels of land in the summer, and an array of colours in the autumn months. Orange, red, purple or yellow, each variety boasts its fruity tone. ¨˜"°*♥*°"˜¨¨˜"°*♥*°"˜¨¨˜"°*♥*°"˜¨¨˜"°*♥* °"˜¨¨˜"°*♥*°"˜¨ The distant misty mountains blend with the sky whilst the thick forests essences evaporate, fusing with the heat waves which warp the landscape. The steep and narrow road which leads to the top of the Pic du Tantajo is rarely used, apart from technicians who verify the antenna installations. The main road from Bédarieux, at the foot of the mountain, to Béziers, passes through a tunnel, under the Pic. Behind the antennas, which are surrounded by high fences, the highest point of the rock is mounted by an orientation table which consists of a sculpted black marble slab lying on a ...

Carcassonne Airport, France 16/01/2008

Cathare country Airport

Les Portes du Roussillon, Languedoc, France 11/01/2008

An unforgettable experience

Les Portes du Roussillon, Languedoc, France Last summer (2007) I had my very first experience in a holiday village. I generally avoid over crowded touristic summer holidays, but this time, I couldn't avoid it. An unrefusable offer was made to us, and seeing as my kids got their eyes on the brochure, that was it... I just could not find a good enough reason why we shouldn't go. Les Portes du Roussillon is a holiday village situated in Port Barcarès, on the French Mediterranean coast just north of Perpignan. Stretched out over 14 acres, it consists of a total of 730 beds in 198 "bungalows". ,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸, ø¤º°`°º¤ø I arrived very sceptical about the whole thing, especially as we went there with a group of families from our home town, amongst which I only knew a couple vaguely. They all went by bus, but we took our car to be able to get away from the the village as much as we'd need to! My first doubts were very quickly confirmed. As we waited under the sudden rain to be given a key to our "bungalow", plastic bracelets were handed out to us (bright green!). Luckily I realised that if I closed that bracelets popper, it would never come off again, other than with scissors.... So these beautiful bracelets were to prove that we "belonged" to the holiday village, where each section of the village had colored stickers on the corresponding restaurants, nurseries, receptions and even the staff members. After what seemed like a very long wait, watching our "neighbours" being hurried away in all ...

Salagou Lake, Languedoc, France 03/01/2008

Beautiful contrasts

The Cirque de Mourèze, Herault, Languedoc-Roussillon 21/12/2007

Chaotic landscape

Lunaret Zoo, Montpellier 13/06/2007

A great day out

Lunaret Zoo, Montpellier The Lunaret Zoo is situated in the town of Montpellier, and is easy to reach by bus or tram. It doesn't resemble other zoos much for several reasons. The first thing you'll notice when you visit, is that the entrance is free. You can always donate a few euros to help out with the major animal protection programs that go on here. The second thing you'll notice is that once inside the zoo gates, you find yourself in a shady forest with a choice of paths to explore. There is a children's playground at the entrance, a merry-go-round and an information hut, where you can pick up a map to chose which way to go around the zoo. Unlike other zoos, visitors are not all there to see the animals. Seeing as it is Montpelliers largest open green space, just 3 kilometres from the town centre, many locals come here for a stroll or a bit of jogging. There are wooden sign posts at each crossing to indicate where which animals can be found, and how to find your way out of the zoo. The thick forest, and sometimes long stretches between animal enclosures make that, out of season, you can feel completely lost before coming by the next lot of sign posts! °º"˜¨¨˜"°º εïз °º"˜¨¨˜"°º The zoo is spread out over 80 acres of land, it's more like a safari than a zoo really, but is strictly pedestrian. Bicycles and roller skates or skateboards are forbidden, as well as dogs and all motorised vehicles, although small children get away with little bikes if they stick with their parents. ...

Canal du Midi, Languedoc 09/06/2007

Canal du Midi

Canal du Midi, Languedoc The Canal du Midi, is a man dug canal, situated in the south of France, and joins the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean sea, via the Canal Garonne. The water sources which allow the canal to be constantly navigable, come from the Montagne Noire, (situated in the south west of the Massif Central, near Mazamet, in the Tarn area), by three lakes, and the Saint Ferréol dam. This technical challenge, first imagined in 1539, stayed a project on paper for almost a century, until 1636. ¤ø,¸¸,◊,¸¸ ,ø It was Paul Riquet, an ingenious engineer, born in Béziers in 1604, who started the first portion of the Canal in 1636, under the reign of Louis XIV. The Saint Ferréol dam was built in 1667, and in 1680, the locks at Béziers, called "Les écluses de Fonseranne" were built. Pierre Paul Riquet died that year, and the very first navigation between Toulouse and Sète happened in 1681, the year following his death. ¤ø,¸¸,◊,¸¸ ,ø¤ Needless to explain the difficulty of the task for the workers who achieved this colossal construction. The soul of the problem being that seeing as the water in the canal comes from a series of lakes and dams, the slope necessary for a steady supply of water, enough to fill the canal so that it's depth allows boats to navigate on, had to be very precise. The Canal du midi therefore goes through tunnels and over bridges, down locks and past sleep cliffs! It cost many human lives to build. Originally for commercial cargo use, today the canal ...
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