29 October 2014

Narbonne Day Three took me along the canal and out of the town

On Day One in Narbonne I had confirmed that there was not much to do and the rain that I had allowed for had not come to my rescue so on Day Three I decided to go on a long walk. A walk is its own reward and does not necessarily have to be taken anywhere beautiful or interesting so I was content to have that as my sole ambition for the day.

I headed off south along the main road until I hit the canal that bisected Narbonne.



The Canal de La Romine was to be my route and Pont de L'Escoute my starting point.



The canal was refreshingly thick with bridges and as I stood on the first one I took a picture of the next not far away.



Following the canal took me under the bridge with buildings on it. Hidden in the black here are the signs of its growth as different arches revealed how the bridge had got wider and wider until it was wide enough to support a road with buildings on both sides.



I had passed the market house on Day One when it was closed so I took this opportunity to go inside. One of the reasons that markets work for me is that fruit and vegetables cannot help but be colourful and have interesting shapes. The stall holder know that too and do their part in arranging them to maximum effect.



The canal continued east towards the sea and got smaller and quieter as it did so. The wide boulevards disappeared at the first ring road and the moorings got further apart and held fewer boats, I think there are just four by the far bend here.

There were also far fewer people and the two ladies on the far bank were the last people that I saw for a long while.



By the time that I got to the town boundary and the motorway the path was reduced to a mud track on just one bank. Luckily it was on the side that I was walking so I was able to keep going as far as I wanted.

Any semblance of a town had been left behind a kilometre or more previously and it was only the motorway that gave any sign of life. Which was a shame as I was rather keen on food by then and did not fancy walking back all the way that I had come to find some.



The map suggested that there was a retail park nearby so I headed for that. It was typically down-market and characterless, it could have been in England, but it did have a cafe and after a few moments I worked out how to get stuff and to pay for it, for my coffee I had to buy a token at the till and then use one of the machines in the seating area,



I took a different route back in to Narbonne, one that followed a main road for most of the way and so was not very interesting, though I was greatly impressed by this array of solar panels in a car park. Solar panels and always a good idea and using them to make works of art is even more so.



I had planned to go back to the fresh food restaurant that I had been to on the previous night but it was closed for reasons that escaped me! That left me with little alternative but to walk back in to town and the pizzeria that I went to on Day One.

At least that meant that I could walk past the Collège Victor Hugo, a large and fairly grand building not far from my hotel. It too was decorated in the municipal purple (Burgundy?) that I had noticed on my first exploration of the town.



Above the railings the college clock was making the most of the sun as it slipped away for the night.

The centre of the town was about 600m away and that made it an easy 6 minute walk. I was starving by then and saved time by ordering the same pizza that I had had on the first night.

My third day in Narbonne was quiet and uneventful but filled with plenty of walking. I wanted a day with a change of pace and that is just what this was. There would be other days to be busy.

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