February 01, 2010


Location:  The Landes, D652, between Biscarrosse and Parentis-en Born

The aerodrome de Biscarrosse-Parentis lies between the D652 and the large Lac de Biscarrosse et Parentis in the Landes. 

On the outskirts of Biscarrosse, on the D652 heading towards Parentis-en-Born, at a turning into the Zone Industrial de Montagnotte, there is this splendid model of a twin propeller aeroplane.

Nodding Donkey

Location: The Landes, D43 between Ychoux and Parentis-en-Born

I think that's what this mechanical model is called.  For oil?  For mining?

A roundabout on the D43 on the way to Parentis-en-Born and Biscarrosse, beyond Ychoux.

There is an un-numbered turning for heavy lorries off the roundabout towards Lue and Labouheyre to the south.

November 22, 2009

Les Vignobles de Marmande

Location:  Lot & Garonne,  on the Bordeaux side of  Marmande, junction of  the D933 with the D813

At the junction of the Mont de Marsan to Périgueux road (the new D933) and the Agen road (the D813) on the edge of Marmande, there is an imposing roundabout suitable for the entrance to a town that is proud of its wines.

In the autumn the leaves on the vines have a golden hue, and the evergreens form an elegant backdrop.

The text announces:  "Vignobles des Côtes du Marmandais" (Vinyards of the Marmandais hillsides) 


Location: Lot & Garonne, Marmande, D933, junction with D708

The D933 is now a smart new by-pass round the outskirts of Marmande, heading north towards Périgueux and Bergerac and South to Mount de Marsan. 

The recent construction has been an opportunity to build and design new roundabouts.  One of the most dramatic, on the crossroads with the D708 that leads into Marmande town centre, is topped by this powerful sculpture in memory of the holocaust.

November 21, 2009

Auchan, Villeneuve

Location: Lot & Garonne, D911, on the border of Villeneuve-sur-Lot and Bias, towards Sainte Livrade-sur-Lot, at the turning for Auchan supermarket

There is a scruffy, rubbish-covered small roundabout just at the entrance to Auchan hypermarket outside Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

From some angles, there is nothing much to see except road signs and traffic and then suddenly, there against the sky, is this surreal running figure.  Love it!

October 18, 2009

Strange "Spider"

Location: Landes, D824, entrance to Dax ring road coming from Mont de Marsan

It isn't a spider, because it only has six legs. And what are the three phallic symbols in the middle all about?

And I thought the red "D" with the swirl might be the logo for Dax, but it doesn't seem to be.

Then round the other side of the roundabout there are about a dozen painted posts.

All to be found on the ring road as you approach Dax from Mont de Marsan in the Landes.

January 18, 2009

The Cradle of the French Vine

Location: Languedoc-Roussillon, junction 37 of the E15/A9, for Narbonne (D32) and Narbonne Plage and Gruissan (D168)

Turning off the motorway at Narbonne and coming through the toll gates, there immediately in front is a roundabout with a huge wine pitcher pouring wine.

The flow of wine is more obvious in winter. In summer it is partly hidden by the foliage of what look like poplars.

The writing on the stone slab in front says "Narbonne, berceau de la vigne Française: Narbonne cradle of the French vine".

Wikipedia says: "Grapevines are said to have existed in the South of France since the Pliocene period - before the existence of Homo sapiens. The first vineyards of Gaul developed around two towns: Béziers and Narbonne."

Rond Point de Falines

Location: Languedoc-Roussillon, near Narbonne, D32 outside Gruissan, junction with D332

The D32 out of Narbonne meanders south east to Gruissan, a holiday resort in the Languedoc-Roussillon between two étangs (lakes) and the Mediterranean. At the entrance to the old fishing village is the rond point de Falines.

Here, framed by grass and olive trees, an abstract sculpture echoes the shapes of the fishing boats and the yachts in the nearby marina.

To one side flags of France and the European Union flutter in the breeze.

January 08, 2009


Location: Charante-Maritime, turn-off 36 of E5/A10. Junction of D732 (west towards Gémozac, Saujon and Royan and east towards Cognac) and D137 (north to Pons and Sainte and south to Mirambeau)

A splendid roundabout is to be found just off Junction 36 of the E5/A10, a few miles from Pons in the Charante-Maritime. There is a large open book, with fine illustrated writing backed by a rank of upright books.

The open book says: "La Haute Saintonge: Terre de Charme, Magic des Pierres, Beauté des Paysages".

Haute Saintonge is a "communauté des communes" at the southern end of the Charante-Maritime and on the spines of the upright books are the names of principal towns and villages within the community.

November 14, 2008


Location: (1) Dordogne, N21 coming into Bergerac from the south, junction with D660 towards Cahors and Sarlat (2) Bergerac town centre, south west side of Vieux Pont (old bridge)
Found two splendid roundabouts in Bergerac.

The first - at the junction between the N21 towards the town centre and the D660 for Sarlat - has almost too much going on: men turning a capstan, wine casks, waterfalls, lamp-posts, trees and an autumnal flowerbed with a small crab apple and rudbekias.

The second, on the south west side of the old bridge in the centre of Bergerac, is a fountain with leaping fish.

September 08, 2008

D2 out of Bordeaux

Location: Gironde, D2 heading north out of Bordeaux, junction with D211, crossroads to Macau (east) and Paloumey (west)

At the start of the D2 going north out of Bordeaux (which is the road that passes many of the great Bordeaux vineyards and chateaux) there is a wonderful roundabout where each "side" tells a story. The roundabout sits at the D2 junction with the D211 to Macau on the mouth of the Garonne.

We have the blue of the sea circled by a net. Then there is the red earth surrounded by vines. Spanning the two is a metalwork
"gateway", with fish and vine leaves. Although difficult to see because it is covered one side by a banner, I think there is also an artichoke in the centre of the "gates".

The whole is a grand entrance to the Médoc wine region.

D207 at Brach

Location: The Gironde: The D207 Carcan < > Castelnau-de-Médoc coming into the village of Brach

The small roundabout at the entrance to Brach on the D207 to Castelnau-de-Médoc in the Gironde is gently surreal. Is the skeleton hut meant to be leaning over? And what is the bicycle wheel attached to the rusty oil drum supposed to be?*

* Paul suggests that it might have been stuffed with burning straw or sawdust and used to keep frost or insects at bay in orchards

August 21, 2008

Tennis Club, Tonneins

Location: Tonneins, Lot & Garonne, tennis club, behind Leclerc, off N113

There is a tiny roundabout in front of the Tonneins tennis club, with an old-fashioned lamp post in the middle of delicate flowers and grasses.

The Dolls House Chateau

Location: Junction of D642 to Aguillon with the D813 Agen < > Tonneins, Lot & Garonne

This is not strictly a roundabout, but a magical traffic island with a dilapidated miniature chateau amid the flower-beds

August 12, 2008

Castelmoron Outskirts

Location: Lot & Garonne, D13 heading north out of Castelmoron-sur-Lot towards Miramont; junction with D225 towards St Étienne-de-Fougères and Casseneuil

This is another roundabout where the two sides are completely different. Coming out of Castelmoron and heading towards Miramont, you are faced with a waterfall.

Coming from Miramont towards Castelmoron, the view is of the emblem of Castelmoron etched on stone.

August 04, 2008

Miramont Ring Road

Location: Miramont-de-Guyenne, Lot & Garonne, on the ring road, turning for D933 towards Marmande and Mont de Marsan

July 26, 2008

D933 / D116 Outside Marmande

Location: Lot & Garonne, going south from Marmande, junction with the D933, a loop onto the N113 and the D116 towards Cocumont

This is a roundabout where each half of the circle is in stark contrast.

On one side we have grass and a small boat nestling in flower beds.

On the other side there is a steep slope of concrete and in the middle a bed of bright annuals. There's also a sign at the moment for a summer tomato festival. Marmande is famous for the quality of its tomatoes.