Wednesday, April 03, 2019

A to Z Canal du Midi and IWSG April

A to Z Challenge HERE
The Canal Du Midi runs from the Mediterranean to where it joins the Garonne River, then flows to Bordeaux on the Atlantic coast and is 240 km (149 miles) long. Before its construction (from 1666 to 1681), goods were either carried overland or ships sailed around the Spanish peninsula, through the Gibraltar Pass and then up the coast to deliver cargo. It was a world wonder, a marvel in its time, and still is today. Though it isn’t used for cargo anymore, unless you count humans, it is kept up as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is used especially in the summer months for tourists and sailors alike.
If one followed the Canal from its beginning to its end, one could spend days or weeks and really come to appreciate the southwestern part of France. I did this years ago on a bike. I rode the tow paths, stayed in youth hostels and hitched a ride on one of the few remaining cargo “péniches” barges at the time. I even met my husband aboard his father’s péniche, Stella, on a connecting canal in Toulouse, the Canal Lateral. Ah, reminiscing… But I’ve seen it many times since; walking and picnicking on its banks with our children, eating in its restaurant barges, even last year we followed it for a while by car, taking in the Malpas Tunnel, Les Neuf Écluses de Fonseranes, and visiting a friend’s vineyard (See D tomorrow!) on its banks.
The Malpas Tunnel, famous for being the first one!
Older photo of the nine "locks" of Fonseranes near Beziers.

A barge "peniche" going through the locks

The last lock (ecluse), or first depending...
Today the Canal du Midi is getting attention it doesn’t want as the large picturesque “plantane” trees (Sycamores) that line much of its length are dying and being cut down. They’ve discovered that part, if not all, of the cause is from WW II ammunition boxes dumped in the canal during and after the war that poisoned the water for the trees. Now, thousands of dollars are being spent to replant the dying trees, so that the look of the canal can continue to entrance those of us who love this enduring legacy.
Not all the trees are gone, and so this world wonder still bewitches not only those who know and love it, but also those who choose to learn about this region either by barge, bike or on foot.  
Cycled this "tow path" in my younger days...

This is how I've known the Canal to look for over 30 years.

Last two images from:
All other photos by Buie-Collard
This post will be sooo short, for obvious reasons. Just wanted to share that I will be ready in the next few weeks to send a readers copy of my current WIP out to my beta readers for their comments! I'm excited and anxious at the same time. But I'm happy to be at this stage in the novel's life, because this novel has taken me longer to write than any of my others.

The wonderful co-hosts for the April 3 posting of the IWSG are
Please visit their blogs and thank them for co-hosting! 

Missed some of my A to Z 2019 posts? Well look no further...


  1. Hi,
    That sounds great! I am happy to hear about your progress on your novel. keep up the good work.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  2. Interesting post. I had never heard of this area before, though I've traveled through it by train. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Looks like a gorgeous spot, Lisa. Thanks for sharing it with us. It's a shame it was poisoned.

    Best of luck with your beta readers!

  4. Wow, what amazing scenery! :) And what an adventure, biking along :)

    The Multicolored Diary

  5. Great your current work is ready for other eyes.
    I know England has a lot of those kinds of boats in the canals and rivers.

  6. Ack! It's AtoZ time! *runs and hides*

    Just kidding. Lovely pictures!

  7. What a shame the ammo is killing the trees. At least they are replacing them.

  8. Those are wonderful pictures, Lisa!
    Ah, the Canal Lateral probably holds a special place in your heart.

    Thank goodness not all the trees along the Canal du Midi have been destroyed. What a beautiful image in the last pic where they appear to "bow" over.

    Enjoy the rest of your A to Z Challenge.
    Happy IWSG Day!

  9. Beautiful-- happy to hear they are working on replacing the trees

  10. Lovely pictures! We tend to forget canals were major "highways." Congrats on finishing your wip. I'd be happy to beta read for you. Contact me at:

  11. And now I am having the travel envy...
    (soooo pretty!)
    *le sigh*

    Happy A-Z'ing!

  12. That was a fun journey. I don't understand at all how the "locks" work, but it is fascinating to read about them, and see the pictures. There just isn't enough beautiful, historic places still existing today. Thanks for sharing them.

  13. Good luck with your beta reads.
    Great post. Love the pics. It's really neat to see how that was done.
    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

  14. Glad they are replanting the trees. I really enjoyed your pictures.

  15. Those sycamores are stunning!

  16. Although I've had many a canal holiday here in the UK, I've never got round to traveling on the Canal du Midi. It's never too late!


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