On the Canal du Midi from Toulouse to the Mediterranean

14 May 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Carcasonne © Pinpin

Carcasonne © Pinpin

The Canal du Midi (Occitan: Canal de las Doas Mars, meaning canal of the two seas) is a 240 km (150 mi) long canal in Southern France (French: le Midi). The canal connects the Garonne River to the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean and along with the Canal de Garonne forms the Canal des Deux Mers joining the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. The canal runs from the city of Toulouse down to the Mediterranean port of Sète—which was founded to serve as the eastern terminus of the canal. The Canal du Midi was built by Pierre-Paul Riquet.   read more…

Bordeaux, city of art and history

16 July 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, Bon appétit, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Grand Théâtre © Christophe Finot

Grand Théâtre © Christophe Finot

Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in southwest France, with an estimated (2008) population of 250,082. The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called Bordelais. Bordeaux is the world’s major wine industry capital. It is home to the world’s main wine fair, Vinexpo, while the wine economy in the metro area moves 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the eighth century. Bordeaux has about 116,160 hectares (287,000 acres) of vineyards, 57 appellations, 10,000 wine-producing châteaux and 13,000 grape growers. With an annual production of approximately 960 million bottles, Bordeaux produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as some of the most expensive wines in the world. Included among the latter are the area’s five premier cru (first growth) red wines (four from Médoc and one, Château Haut-Brion, from Graves), established by the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. The first growths are: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Haut-Brion and Château Mouton-Rothschild.   read more…

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