Thursday, 27 June 2013

Day 8: Sète

Got up early to get the 8.20 train out of Toulouse (this time with our backpacks!) as well as recheck the Japanese Garden we had looked around the first evening (I had been very hungry and grumpy and CC hadn't enjoyed it enough and wanted to go back). Very pretty and we got some hideously ugly pictures of us being very tired. 
 Today's plan was a little town called Sète right on the coast. Our friend Martin had recommended the place to us as a very pretty, but sort of out-of-the-way town, and it was described (by wikipedia :P) as a place not trying to be too touristy. Sounds good! Also, just before arriving into the town by train you went over this narrow strip of land, very exciting!

Anyways, we went via Narbonne, a town I feel a bit sorry for because it wasn't recommended by any of the mirriad people I talked to before our trip – it was sort of shrugged off as a “nothing really to see”-town. We had an hour here so we walked for a bit, then went to sit down in the sun. It had nice trees and I'm sure would have been a very pleasant place had we stayed there longer.

The nice trees of Narbonne
Anyways, arrived in Sète just before midday. We found a nice sandwicherie and went to eat our baguettes under a bridge (yes lol I know we were hungry, and rivers are exciting) – I had a surprisingly scrumptious pain bagnat poulet (all I understood was poulet (chicken), which is always a safe bet), whereas CC was a bit jealous only having his ham-and-emmental-baguette.

I wanted sun CC wanted shade

Awesome parks!
Sète is a funny name since it sounds the same as sept (seven in French), and actually it used to be called Cette, which is the feminin version of 'this' in French (ie. Cette voiture = ''this car') = INTERESTING LINGUISTICAL FACT OF THE DAY YES. It itself is a small town, a population of 43,400, and most of the land area is taken up by this hill, Mont St Clair. After scouring a local market for sunglasses and sunhats (well, CC got sunglasses in the end!), we made the gradual ascent (can you say that?) up the hill. And trust me, it was DEADLY. Having a backbag with all your personal belongings in it, going up even the vaguest uphill was an effort... But we were determined. It also helped that for the last 203 steps CC carried my bag as well as his. Perfect bf? I think so! 

The views were AMAZING, of Sète, of the water on both sides of it... Unfortunately there was no café or even ice cream stall, and I also realised that actually I am thankful for public toilets you have to pay for... you didn't have to pay for these ones and... lets say this, James, you wouldn't have been too pleasantly surprised.

After Sète, back onto a train- Our hostel was in a nearby town called Nimes, which officially and quickly got the award of Best first impression from station – prize, both from me and CC. A pretty pedestrian boulevard lead from the station, with trees and an exciting water-thing going alongside the boulevard. We found our hotel quickly – yes it's called a hotel, though I found it on and was pricewise no different to a hostel.

We stepped into Hotel Concorde from a pleasant but not not too exciting little street. The reception was in the eating area, where there were three people having wine and aperitifs. A bit dodgy, until the man looked up and said happily in a nice British accent: “Ah, Greed, yes?” (my surname, yes) We said yes. He jumped up and sorted out our keys, codes, and circled various sites, restaurants and pretty places on a map he gave to us. He also told us it was his birthday and they were celebrating, and offered us a glass of champagne. All in a very British accent, very friendly, brilliant first impression.
View from hotel
The stairs reminded me of the stairs in the Nottinghills, Nicola, ie. They were very spiraly and very narrow. The room was brilliant – one of the only places we got a room to ourselves. Knowing that this was the ultimate cheapo hotel obviously we knew not to expect much, but the bed was made, nice-looking, we had a sink and even a shower in the room! Very good first impressions. :)

We found dinner at a local Brasserie with a very grumpy lady, the aubergines in the salad were good and CC enjoyed his pizza so all was good. CC would have wanted to go for a walk afterwards but I was too shattered from our Sète-trek, so back to the hostel, and fell asleep within moments of hitting the pillow.



  1. Monenko tähden hotelli se oli? Vaiko tähdetön ihan? Hienoa kuitenkin, että saatte kokea vähän "ylellisempääkin" asumista. :) Kuinka paljon niitä portaita oli? Kiva nähdä, että sää on ollut suotuisa. Oikein mukavia tuleviakin päiviä. Äx

    1. Yhden tähden :) Portaita oli vaan se 203 :P Mutta ylämäkeä paljon! Ihania päiviä!

    2. Meillä oli Kreikassa kahden tähden hotellit, jotka oli aika eritasoisia. x

    3. Meillä on Berliinissä neljän tähden!!! :) x

  2. Narbonne, you're now on the map! Rejoice!

    And Nimes - I was there in '85... at least, I was at the railway station and although I can't remember what it was like I remember it was a very positive impression. I was on my way to Anduze. Are you going there? Very nice little town.

    1. Don't know Anduze, but I'll google it! Yes Nimes gave an epic first impression! Number 3 on my list of favourite towns so far :)

  3. haha you're right I would *not* have liked those toilets! I bet they were the skankey ones with the hole in the ground? :-s

    I like to park my posterior on porcelain, thankyouverymuch :P it's very delicate!

    1. Naah it was nice toilet, just it was full to the brim and had various things floating in it...