Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Saint Chinian in the Languedoc

The Cathedrale  St Nazaire at Beziers sits perched on the highest point overlooking the city where the Orb river meets the Canal du Midi.
It was where 1000s of Beziers citizens were massacred when the Papal troops crusaded against the Cathars in the region. They were ordered not to discriminated between Cathars and Catholics. "Kill then all, God will recognise his own."

After a good strong coffee and a couple of delicious pastries, I changed the wheel on the Citroen C3 and we left Beziers on our way to Saint Chinian. It was the last leg before we good relax for a whole week and take in the local area. Saint Chinian is the central point of the wine growing district and nor more than 50 or so kms from Beziers. Driving through the village of Puisserguier, you start to climb and as you get to the highest point the road starts to descend into the valley, but not before getting a glimpse of the village below. We started to become quite excited at this moment. What would our home for the next week be like?
Saint Chinian doesn't show up in the usual tourist books, this is part of its charm.

We arrived early. Our hosts were not expecting us until much later so we decided to become aquainted with the village that would be our home for the coming week.

The main shopping areas are hidden behind the main road through Saint Chinian and the streets have  lovely paving and planter boxes. People greet you regardless of the fact that you are new.
Nice really - its a very comfortable village.

From the Diary - Ärrived at Saint Chinian about 2.30 - we had told our hosts 6.00 so we had a look around. What a wonderful village. Chatted with a local lady, she had no English but was sure we would understand if she kept talking, especially if she got progressively louder. Met with Antony and Andreas and was shown around the villa.
It has two sets of steep steps - wonderful....
It is beautiful and decorated with care and an eye for detail. Went shopping at the supermarket and cooked pasta with a salad for dinner. Neither of us wanted to move from the villa. After the day it felt like a refuge.
Market day tomorrow."

Its true what they say about it being a small world. As we waited for the local supermarket to open, there was another couple also waiting. We said hello and discovered that they were fellow Australians. Not only from OZ but only 3 or 4 kms from our home. They were to become good company while at Saint Chinian and we continue to see them occasionally to this day.

AND there it was, our little French villa for one whole week. The little Juliet balcony was used to its full advantage. We would sit with a glass of local wine and aknowledge the passing locals, as they would us. This is truly heaven.

The stairway to our living quarters.

Sue relaxes in the sitting room on our first night in Saint Chinian.

And the bed after the past driving dramas was most inviting.

Now tell me where in France you can see a bathroom this HUGE!

Just an Arty Farty photo of a window in our villa.

Like most French villages, Saint Chinian hosts a market. Its a great market, not too large for people to be friendly. We could see the market setting up from our balcony and Sue couldn't wait to get the shopping basket and buy some local produce.

As the sun dropped, we would watch the locals going for their evening walks, and they would offer a bonsoir when they saw us on the balcony sipping our wine.

NEXT - Carcassonne and Minerve, Cathar country


  1. Jennifer of
    lives not very far from Minerve. My son and I stopped there last year. (Jennifer's blog has lots of great recipes and is a cheese afficionado (afficionada?)

  2. What a coincidence that we should be blogging about the same region at the same time. The village that our friends have their house is about 80 miles from St Chinian.

    This is a lovely post and the photos are great. They show so well the typical three-story houses, right up against the road with no pavement.

    What time of year were you there?

  3. Great entry on your blog - I enjoyed reading just how much you liked your stay at my house and in the village! Now I'm going to work my way through the rest of the blog!!

  4. Nadege - Yes, I'd forgotten Jennifer's blog and have bookmarked it. Thanks.

    Jean - again yes, unusual to blog on the same thing. We will be blogging on the region for a few weeks so stay tuned. Our diary says we were there late Sept.

    Andreas who has commented was our host and I will attach a link to there house in a future blog next week.


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