The Canal du Midi

My previous post in this series is a photo essay on Carcassonne.

In our planning process we  discovered  photos of the Canal du Midi – so appealing it made our wannasee list.  A drive north along the Mediterranean coast from St-André brought us to Beziers and a ticket office.

The Canal was carved out across the breadth of France, from the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean Sea.  Its original worth was as a trade link but today you will find pleasure boats leisurely putzing along.

Work began in 1666 and within 14 years the Canal was winding its way from Bordeaux in the west all the way to Beziers near the Mediterranean coast. Today the Canal flows into the Etang de Thau, one of a string of lakes that stretches along the Languedoc-Roussillon coast, making the total length of the canal 360 kms.

This UNESCO World Heritage site flows through, over, and under 328 structures along its length – there are locks, including a unique ‘womb’ design that allows more space for boats …

a tunnel …

and even an overpass …

The plane trees were planted to stabilize the banks – some 250,000 plane trees …

Of course we took our own putter on the Canal …

But lest you think we were in some grandiose bateau …

However, one day we dream of renting a barge – to float leisurely passed the stately trees, through old villages, past ancient city walls, a glass of the local vin-du-jour close to hand and doing nothing but soaking up the ambiance of southern France.

I leave you with one of my watercolours.  To view more of my paintings click here.

21 thoughts on “The Canal du Midi

    1. Well it might be a slow way to go about it but I like the water and I did a trip on the Rideau Canal with my parents many years ago – I love that lightly bobbing sensation … the smell of the water … navigating the locks …


  1. Lynne, your artwork is beautiful! I enjoyed being able to view it all on your link. I would like to do a canal trip too one day. I know they have them in England as well.


    1. Thank you for you comment on my art Naomi. We keep looking at the options for barging – France is what comes to mind most often but there are opportunites in England as well. In fact I read that it was the English who first took barging to the Canal du Midi.


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