Road trip: Sommières, Uzès

But first, a shopping trip adventure! We went to an international grocery store that is in the next town over from Montpellier, but which is so difficult to get to via public transportation that we hadn’t gotten there until we were able to tag along with Paul and Paula during their rental car fest. It’s called The Five Continents, and judging from its products, they’re counting the British Isles as its own continent, which is terribly British in my opinion. I wondered if there was anyone who would be as excited to see their selection of tinned meats as I was to find their large selection of Mexican food? I never thought that finding big bags of pinto and black beans would count as a red-letter day, but that was before I moved to France. The only thing I miss from the US besides y’all is Mexican food.

Blimey! My favourite tinned hot dogs! And is that haggis in the background, by Jove?

Onward! We piled once again into Paul and Paula’s car with Kate on a beautiful Saturday and went off to Sommières, a nearby town with Roman roots, an intact medieval center, and a castle. But our destination was the extensive Saturday market.

The gothic town gate, Le Tour de l’Horloge.

The Vidourle river

In addition to the typical and fabulous French market with fruits, veggies, cheeses and local specialty foods (that have been photographed to death by countless photographers, so I won’t add to the pile), there was an excellent antiques market. I’m a little jaded by them now, perhaps because I have no interest in stock-piling treasures, but I was sorely tempted by this one.

I was so smitten with this suburban terrarium that I told Mark that we had to settle down somewhere, just so I could have it in my life. I’m still not over it.

A valet with a pants-pressing feature
Oh the strange treasures I could have had…

This claims to be the harmless national sport for all ages

The horse butcher shop, now selling leather goods

We had yet another excellent lunch, which is par for the course with this group, and then set off for Uzès, which is just north of Nîmes. We all fell in love with it immediately and agreed we’d need to come back for a more thorough exploration.

First things first, coffee

Cathedral time! The Uzès cathedral was first destroyed in the 1200s during the crusade against the Cathars (a local so-called heretical variety of Catholicism), and again during the 16th century’s war of religion when Uzès and the region were Protestant strongholds. It was stripped of anything of value during the revolution, but somehow through all of that, the 11th century bell tower survived. It is the only circular bell tower in France

There was a noisy, jubilant wedding going on while we were there. I’m pleased to report that the attendees were largely mask compliant which surely bodes well for the happy couple.

I’ve got nothing to wrap this up with, so I’ll leave you with this happy, looming cloud I spotted from our birds-eye apartment.

Cheers! Maer