March: South of France

A Short Trip with Multiple Destinations:

Destination 1:  La Grande Motte

Part One: Purpose of Trip and The Location

Trip Overview:

At the invitation of the Atomic Energy Agency (based in Vienna, Austria), I attended a meeting in La Grande Motte, France, with a large number of delegates from all over the world.  

The hosts for the meeting, the French research organization IRSN then took us to see their underground research center in near Tournemire.  This side trip required an overnight stay in Mallou, with its world-famous bridge.

After the formal part of the meetings and tour were over, I took a night and a day of my own time, rented a car, and visited the Gorges of the Tarn, north of La Grande Motte and east of Mallou.

Note the similarity to the France trip from the Fall of 2008, where meetings (hosted by the European Commission in that case) were on the Giens Peninsula, and my free day was spent at the Grand Canyon of France to the north.  Patterns are good.

So, on this page are just a few photos from La Grande Motte.  There was not much free time in this city given the meeting schedule, hence the paucity of photos.  What makes La Grande Motte unique among French cities, or European cities for that matter, is a common theme in its architecture. There are websites that will show you wonderful aerial and other views of La Grande Motte, if that would be of interest to you.

I found the town pleasant to look at, but the one really nice day we had I skipped lunch to enjoy a stroll on the Mediterranean beach that is the draw for vacationers that come here by the droves, in season.

The first few photos show where I stayed and where La Grande Motte is located with respect to the airport I flew in and out of at Montpellier.

The third building from the left is my hotel, across the harbor:

From my hotel room (Hotel Mercure) I could see the outskirts and airport area of Montpellier across this wide bay:

As it got darker, the lights from the Montpellier area to the north grew brighter:

Aside from unique architecture, what La Grande Motte is, is a Mediterranean beach town:

We will take more of a beach walk in Part Two.  [Note that for the sake of the topless sunbathers' privacy, I kept my distance while taking photos.]

Click here to GO TO Part Two of La Grande Motte


Destination 2: Millau and Its Bridge

Destination 3: Underground Research Center at Tournemire

Destination 4: The Gorges of the Tarn (Introductionwith 10 sub-destinations)


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