A Mediterranean Graveyard

Montpellier Sud

Imagine an abandoned sea-side resort along the french riviera. A taxi takes you out of the city, then past a series of dusty industrial areas intermingling with functioning but drab shopping malls. The road doesn’t narrow, but silently switches its decor to a vista of empty sail boat harbors and abandoned amusement parks. A fort built on a miniature island in the middle of a lagoon promises fun and fancy, but presents a lonely figure with it’s empty moat and broken sign.

Part of the road navigates between the banks of two different lagoons. The implementation of drainage and above all the danger of flooding seem like foreign concepts here, as the asphalt stretches out almost below sea level as if daring the surrounding water to approach.

Finally, the dried grass and the sepia views give way to a skyline seemingly out of a 1960’s postcard –  only devoid of the colors, animation and family fun. What must have been the height of architectural chic during that decade is now reduced to a seaside gathering of empty buildings and howling windows.

A panoramic view of the resort confirms my suspicions; this sunshine resort in it’s winter cloak is a ghost town only wanting of tumble weeds and spider webs.

But will it awaken and shake off the dust and damp with the arrival of warm winds and spring? I would not, could not believe it, not until we searching for a way back to the vibrant arms of the city passed by a flock of flamingos grazing by the banks, bickering and squawking to the best of their abilities.

…and as we all know, were flamingos flourish tourism must and will rise again!

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