2009 Athens to Amsterdam travel blog

Serignan beach

Church in Beziers

Lock system

Baech day today. After a good french breakfast of bread, croissant, cake, jam and coffee we headed off to Serignan beach which is about a 10 minute drive. The beach here is good, it is quite wide, consists of fine sand, and protected behind with high dunes. There is another beach further along that is a tourist beach and gets crowded in the summer. The day was was warm and sunny so we spent a few hours enjoying the sunshine, beach and the fact there were few people here.

In the afternoon we drove to Beziers, which is only about 10-20 km from Serignan. One of the features we wanted to see was the lock system on the Canal du Midi. I didn't actually know anything about the canal before.

The Canal du Midi is a 240 km long canal that connects the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and was constructed in the 17th century. The original purpose of the Canal du Midi was to be a shortcut between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, avoiding the long sea voyage around hostile Spain, and a trip that in the 17th century required a full month of sailing. The Canal has 91 locks which serve to climb and descend a total of 190 metres. At B├ęziers there is a staircase of 8 locks.

The canal is used a lot by pleasure craft now, and while we were there a couple of boats descended through the lock system.

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