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Baggins
13-11-2009, 13:47
I’ve checked the search and there is only one mention of La Grande Motte so I’ll take a chance on boring you – you can always hit the next button!

Following the coast toward Spain from The Camargue I chanced upon this quite unique, wondrous and really surreal town.

T’was built on scrub-land and sand-dunes at the express wish of Gen. De Gaulle to hive off some of the dosh package holiday-makers were taking to the Spanish Costa’s.

That was 1967 – so the last time I passed by the Camargue in ‘69 it was not here at all –and the job was given to one architect (Jean Balladur) to design and plan a town for holidays that was also a pleasant place to live.

Pyramid shapes, no linear development – no boxes – hardly a square corner…..and in concrete. It works so well. To counter erosion the area was planted out with trees and bushes to 70% of area.

The town was built for walking, cycling (or, Balladur hoped, horse-riding) and is just the right size for that. I’ve been here three days now and still a pleasure just to wander around – although I do expect a giant white balloon to come bouncing along any moment saying ‘Come in No’ 6’…………..That’ll probably be lost on all you youngsters on the site!

As my interest is in architecture and urban planning generally I never expected to see something born of the 60’s/70’s just blowing me away.

I urge anyone beetling down to Spain via Barcelona to take a short detour.

Only tiny gripe is that the Aire De Camping is really too good for purpose and is a small secure camp-site (15/12 Euros incl. Elec. and everything). I prefer car-park type stops with basic amenity. Having said that Lidl is very accommodating and on/off-street parking is completely free.

Best touch ever – outside the enormously helpful TIO there is a gazebo with lecterns & high chairs for free WiFi……….Brilliant.


BW

The town’s site on the internet has some great videos.

Some pics added

Picasa Web Albums - Baggins (http://picasaweb.google.com/bagginsandthebear)

ajs
13-11-2009, 14:08
I’ve been here three days now and still a pleasure just to wander around – although I do expect a giant white balloon to come bouncing along any moment saying ‘Come in No’ 6’…………..That’ll probably be lost on all you youngsters on the site!


Picasa Web Albums - Baggins (http://picasaweb.google.com/bagginsandthebear)


OHHHH no it's not....:rolleyes:

regards ;)
aj

btw saggins... maps.. google reference etc etc...
anything like that would help the geriatrics on here to know where you are talking about :D

... fer the norverers mainly :p

Belgian
13-11-2009, 20:09
Hi Baggins,
Nice pictures :)
La Grande Motte is the place where I'll be when I won the €-Millions :D
Did you see the medieval counterpart: Aigues Mortes ?
Maybe I may give you some hints on your way to Spain ?
Don't miss the 'Oppidum d'Enserune' near Béziers (it was a nice place some years ago). Also a nice overnighting place is the 'Abbaye de Fontfroide'.
Carcassonne is also a must and then take the minor roads down the Aude department: Lagrasse, Félines Termenès down to the castles of Peyrepertuse and Quéribus. (narrow roads; watch out with your 'beast' :rolleyes:-but the wine there is famous as a compensation :cool:)
If you can hold on for a moment I'll post a list about Aude- département 11
Enjoy,
Leo


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