S: Canal du Midi
BC: June, 2011 | Au revoir
FC: Canal du Midi
1: The French Connection | June 1, 2011
2: Toulouse | June 2, 2011 | Le Capitole | Toulouse prepares to celebrate Ascention Day | We spent our first night at the Hotel Albert 1er, a block away from the Capitole, the town center.
3: June 3, 2011 | Basilique St-Sernin | Statue Jeanne d'Arc | Fountain in Place Wilson | In the morning, we enjoyed the sites of Toulouse before our bus ride to Castelnaudary.
4: Paintings by impressionist Henri Martin in Le Capitole
5: Castelnaudary | Grand Basin, Castelnaudary | Dear Ones Street Ca. U.S.A. | Here we began our Canal du Midi adventure with our boat mates: David and Christina Kory; Christina's daughter, Lucia; David's daughter, Rachel; Natasha Leask, and Nelly Sawczuk.
6: June 4, 2011 | We continued our travels along the Canal du Midi in intermittent rain. | Ecluse de la Criminelle with the cross of the Count of Toulouse painted on the lock gate | Quaint gardens at Ecluse de Treboul
7: Sauzens | We stopped for a short walk about the hamlet of .....
8: Picturesque Ecluse de Lalande | Views of the French countryside
9: Carcassonne | Fountain in town square | Portail des Jacobins | Cathedral St. Michel | We docked near the port of Carcassonne and wandered the narrow one-way alleyways of lower town, known as Villa Basse.
10: La Cite | June 5, 2011 | Under overcast skies, we walked through the lower town and across the Aude River to a restored fortified medieval town, ...... | l | Carcassonne's namesake, Dame Carcas, greets us as we pass through La Porte Narbonnaise
11: The day turned beautiful, and the views atop the castle walls were enchanting.
12: The castle housed a museum with impressive stone carvings from building and churches in the area around Carcassonne.
13: La Basilique St. Nazaire | We enjoyed the traditional dish, cassoulet, in an outdoor cafe before heading back over the Aude River and through the lower city to our boat.
14: June 6, 2011 | We learned the lock keepers were on strike, and we were stuck in Carcassonne. Imagine that. Stranded in a charming town with a medieval castle! Poor us! | Are you sure this is France? | On Strike
15: We crossed the train tracks to explore a cemetery on the hill | For dinner we opened the can of cassoulet we had purchased in Castelnaudary. Not bad, but not as good as the cafe in La Cite
16: June 7, 2011 | Oh, happy day! The lock tenders were back at work. We were first to enter the lock and say goodbye to Carcassonne. Marianne's boat joined us for 3 sets of locks in route to Trebes.
17: But, alas, the lock l'Eveque was not in operation. It was the lock tender's day off, and his replacement had not come. We walked a couple of miles, first along the canal and then through vineyards to the colorful town of Trebes. We ate at a single table inside the kitchen area of the restaurant and watched the pouring rain which let up for our walk back to the boat.
18: June 9, 2011 | Continuing down the canal past Marseillette, we stopped at the Saint-Martin lock when the locks closed for lunch and rode the bikes through the vineyards to the little hamlet of Blomac.
20: Laredorte | We tied up for the night at ... | a very picturesque old town | Spillway, built in 1693, to prevent canal from flooding in heavy rainfall
21: June 9, 2011 | City Hall | We arose early for a walk around town. We purchased small quiches at a bakery that opened at 7 am. We walked into a small church and peeked around a chateau where workers had left the gate open.
22: We were waiting at lock Jouarres when it opened at 9 am | Argens-Minervois | Lunch at an outdoor restaurant at canal's edge
23: We crossed the river to purchase wine at a small winery | This chateau does not have good bones! | After the lock Argens, just past Argens-Minervois, the Canal du Midi flows 53 km without locks.
24: Le Somail | We arrived at | in early evening | Photographs and postcards of Canal Du Midi frequently feature this bridge in Le Somail.
25: Barred building, a jail? | At the bottom of this tower was a WC!
26: Argeliers | Under overcast skies we walked a pleasant km to the quaint town of ... | June 10, 2011
27: Now this petite chateau has good bones! | We drank a cup of cappuccino at a table in the bakery | Back to the boat with groceries in hand!
28: Motoring on, we were periodically greeted with views of the bell tower of a cathedral in the distance | The bell tower was that of La Collegiale Saint Etienne in Capestang | We lunched on panini sandwiches at an open-air cafe in the town square.
29: Just before the Malpas tunnel, we moored the boat and walked a short distance up a hill to Oppidum D'Enserune with ruins dating back to 6th century B.C. | Etang de Mantady, a drained lagoon with fields that looked like a giant dart board. | At Oppidum D'Enserune we found walls of ancient ruins, cisterns, huge pottery silos and a museum with many well-displayed artifacts. | We spent the night at Colombiers, more modern and less charming than many of the little towns along the Canal du Midi
30: June 11,2011 | We rose early to be in the queue for the 8 am descent of the 6 lock staircase at Fonserances | Visible from the bottom of the staircase is the old water slope that is no longer in use.
31: This multi-arched bridge, completed in 1857, takes the Canal Du Midi over the Orb River | Before this remarkable bridge was built, commerce on the Canal du Midi came to a halt whenever the River Orb flooded.
32: Beziers | We docked in Beziers, a larger, more modern town. We window shopped at a shopping center, stopping at a outdoor cafe for crepes and cappuccinos. | Polygone, a multi-level shopping center
33: Portiragnes | Our last lock at Portiragnes | We purchased a Muscat at a small wine tasting shop. | Eglise Saint Felix
34: June 12, 2011 | With only a short distance to go to our final destination at Le Boat Marina at Cassafieres, we lingered in Portiragnes. Steve and David rode the bikes a couple of km to the Mediterranean Sea. | We set off mid-morning and arrived at the marina before noon.
35: We walked the 1.5 km to the Med for a picnic on the beach and spent the afternoon visiting with our flotilla family.
36: June 13, 2011 | We needed to return our Grand Classique 16 by 9 am, so we ate our last meal on the boat, packed up our gear and box lunch and waited with our fellow travelers at the marina cafe.
37: On the 2-hour bus trip back to Toulouse we saw ..... | La Cite from afar ... | and tree-lined portions of the Canal | We went through a toll booth and rode across bridges over the Canal.
38: June 13, Whit Monday or the Monday after Pentecost, was another holiday. (Don't the French ever work?) We spent the afternoon enjoying the narrow alleyways and architecture of Toulouse .....
39: .... and window shopping! | Nelly and Natasha took us to a charming creperie on Rue du Taur for dinner.
40: We ended our last night by sharing the Muscat purchased in Portiragnes. | We caught a noon flight to London, arriving at 1:45 pm. We rushed through Heathrow Airport barely making our connection and arrived at San Francisco Airport at around 5 pm having passed through 5 time zones. Then it was a return trip via Bart to Pittsburg/Bay Point terminal and on to ..... | June 14, 2011