Is there no end to the prettiness? Let’s wander through the overwhelming charms of Bize-Minervois, a village of about a thousand people in the Aude department of the south of France.
The excuse for checking out Bize (which delightfully sounds like la bise, or the French custom of greeting by kissing on each cheek, though some do more than two–going up to three or four kisses, and starting on left or right depending on how far north) was “Tastes en Minervois,” a mix of gastronomy and wine, with some art and music thrown in for spice.The areas around the wine-tastings had plenty of people, but otherwise, the tiny village mostly let one see its true colors. (We were badly organized and arrived after the food had been served.)
For example, beautiful doors.
The windows weren’t so shabby either.
There was cuteness and postcard-picturesqueness at every turn.
The town nestles, warily, next to the Cesse river, which usually is tiny but which, as you can see by its bed, can get a little crazy.
That reminds me of a riddle: what can run but never walks, what has a mouth but never talks, what has a bed but does not sleep, what has a head but never weeps?
The town of Bize went all-out decorating. There were numerous spots to kick back and taste wine or food. The one above had “furniture” made from tires. And the décor was street signs. I thought the sign, affaissement was hilarious–it sounds like afessement, which isn’t a word but if it were it would mean to lay your butt down (fesse is buttock); affaissement is what happens when a pile of something like sand or rocks kind of slumps down. And slumping down seems to be the same outcome as afessement. I ran it by some native French speakers, who thought it was pretty funny, but the Carnivore informed me that it was completely wrong because the French don’t go for puns like that. I’m not so sure.
But as lively as the festivities were, the best parts of Bize were the tiny lanes, the quirky old buildings, the clearly sleepy ambiance.
That wasn’t all. On the way I kept pulling over to bark at my photographer/offspring to take pictures of various beautiful things. Even though all the villages around here have similar levels of cuteness, it’s foreign enough to me despite all the years of living here that I go ga-ga over it every time. Tant mieux.