Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Plan B: The Medieval City of Aigues-Mortes

Tuesday, 19 May, 2015:


The weather would just not cooperate with our vacation plans in the beach resort of Le-Grau-du-Roi.

We awoke to overcast skies that threatened to rain making our desire to laze on the Med's shore out of the question.

Fortunately for us, Olivier Rival who has recently been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for his amazing knowledge of all things French, came through for us again.

He had mentioned that if we had the chance to visit the 13th century, Medieval walled city of Aigues-Mortes, we should do so.

As luck would have it on this non-beach day, Aigues-Mortes was only a ten minute drive from our hotel in Le-Grau-du-Roi!

The name Aigues-Mortes comes from the surrounding swampland that was in the 13th century considered "dead waters."

First sighting of Aigues-Mortes

That is one BIG wall

What wonders lie inside the walls?


Hard to penetrate these walls

An entrance


Our entrance

Stairs to the ramparts

Busy Medieval streets

OH, let's visit this store!

They sell COOKIES . . .

. . . and CANDIES . . .

. . . and lots of olive oil too

Across the street

We're still in France, after all.


Notre Dame-des-Sablons

Interesting interior

How did this get into a Medieval church?

Our Lady of Lourdes

St. Louis, a.k.a.,
King Louis IX of France

St. Louis is BIG in Aigues-Mortes

Actually, he is big in all of France.

He is special here because he pushed hard for the building of this fortified city.  It  was the launching point for two Crusades, one in 1240, the Seventh Crusade to Jerusalem, and again in 1248, the Eighth Crusade to Tunisia, which the good king led at the request of Pope Innocent IV.

Why not?

Getting hungry

Really hungry

The Republique

St. Louis yet again

This looked ok to me for lunch


A tailor at work

Lots of blue in Aigues-Mortes

Colorful storefronts are the norm

Homey but closed for lunch

Not enough people to warrant our trust

Interesting cartel

Award winning but only open for dinner

Nice home

I would guess that about one half to one third of the walled city is still homes, not businesses related to the tourist trade.

Blue again

Just to drive Brian FitzGerald
a little crazy

Chapelle des Penitents Gris

Nice inside

How did they do this back in the day?

Laurie liked the basket

No, seriously, we have to
have lunch, SOON!

Blue is the IN color

Cool toy cars

Colorful toys


Yet another colorful storefront

Tribute to the Huguenots

They were French Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who left predominantly Catholic France for their health.

An inner wall

What a woman!

If we get separated, at 1:00 p.m.,
meet at the corner of . . .


Rain wreaking havoc with the menu

Water and wine were good bets

So were the desserts

Between, our salads and meat inspired main dishes were wondrous. 

A baguette for the road

No chili peppers though

I had not had a haircut in over a month
and was feeling a tad shaggy

The barber had lots of tricks in
these drawers

Shaving the neck to finish the haircut
and beard trim

She was AWESOME and funny too!

I felt like a new man.

Chapelle des Penitents Blanche

I don't think that we want to sample
this particular vintage

The required municipal carousel

It seems that the French love them as we see one in practically every French city that we visit.

Meanwhile . . .

After several splendid hours in Aigues-Mortes thanks to Olivier Rival, we returned to our address for the day to see a bit more of this city.

Traditional fishing boats

Traditional local's meeting spot

The Sun was finally out and
so were these folks

Fishing boat returning

Lots of fishing boats in the harbor

The old VW van of years ago

The beach at Le-Grau-du-Roi

Someone used their beach day well

Sweet ride

They are accordion connoisseurs

We are gelato connoisseurs

Are Le-Grau-du-Roi and Aigues-Mortes
in this region . . .

. . . or this one?

Only Olivier Rival knows for sure.

Plan B turned out to be a wonderful alternative!

Next Circumnavigation Tour Stop: Tarragona, Spain


Olivier R said...

the answer to the question is : Languedoc as they are west of the Rhone river.

George said...

Merci Olivier!