Sète on the Sea

August 5, 2018

Our octogenarian hostess, Bridgette, set another lovely breakfast table of sweet and flakey croissants, organic yogurt and butter, pots of jam, sliced baguette and THE MOST DELICIOUS, juicy, ripe, delectable, grande apricots!!! Two mornings of this fare is an indulgent treat!!

We packed our bags, enjoyed a leisurely walk and then a dip in the town’s perfect swimming hole – a pocket in the river that runs through Lasalle. And watched a snake wrestle a little fish for a good ten minutes. The fish won… On to our next stop in “the south of France”. img_9414

Sète is an attractive fishing village on the French Riviera 18 miles southeast of Montpellier. Smaller and not so flashy as some of the more popular towns on the sparkling Mediterranean coast, it has been Important for over 300 years. It still has a lively fishing port lined with buildings upon canals, similar to Venice, Italy – painted in the rich colors of ochre, rust, azure and various hues in between. The seafood is reputed to be some of the best in France and is prepared fresh as the fishermen bring in their daily catch.

Sète hosts famous water-jousting tournaments and we just missed one!! We arrived in the late afternoon of a weekend of challenges and observed the temporary canal side seating areas as we passed through to our Airbnb. Two of the boats did cruise by our bayside windows to dock just yards away, followed by a parade of jousters and musicians culminating in an awards ceremony within our viewing!

The tournaments consist of teams trying to unseat their rivals by rowing as fast as possible towards each other. Boats have a lance carrying jouster positioned on an extended ramp which is part of the watercraft – with the goal of unseating one’s opponent and preferably chucking him into the sea! img_5764

Though we didn’t have the touted seafood, we had tasty tapas of cod in tomato sauce, clams, minty zucchini, a curry chicken kabob, olive tapenade, bread and a charcuterie plate. We began our evening in an outdoor courtyard on the canal, the breezy sea air cooling us for our first break in the hot temps of all week. As dusk began to envelope us, so did the purple sky until the gradual streaks of lightning became more intense, lighting up the sky and accompanied by mighty claps of thunder. Soon the clouds opened up with rain and we reluctantly retreated inside. The ambiance within its cavelike interior was very cool so we felt like we experienced two dining options with one choice! And the rain stopped by the time we finished – yet the lightning continued, so we had a light show on our way home!!

We lodged in an amazing Airbnb with a wall of windows looking out to the harbor! Excellent viewing for our electrical storm that tucked us into bed. God is good, amazing and entertaining!!

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