Carcassone, cassoulet, and a corkscrew

Today’s destination is Carcassonne, about a 35-minute drive from our personal paradise. A completely walled city in the Aude department, Carcassonne is one of those places that has changed hands many times, since the Romans planted stakes in 100 BC.

After some driving around through the newer part of the city looking for parking, we pick the least convenient entry point, which requires a lot of trudging up steep paths with precarious footing. Jane G. realizes early on that flip-flops are probably not the best footwear choice for the day. Although the cobbles don’t seem to bother the stiletto-wearing locals.
carcassoneThe castle looks exactly like those of us who were raised on Disney movies think castles should look like, pointy towers and all. We can’t go in to the monument because the workers are on strike, a very French thing to do. Throngs of tourists choke the streets, which are filled with souvenir shops and whatnot.
Since this is the home of cassoulet, we stop at Cafe Lucien (where all of the rocks are numbered) for big bowls of it. Too big, in fact. Charlie buys a French fisherman’s shirt, which Jim puts on immediately, as he is freezing. Jane G. buys an engraved corkscrew to replace the one that was filched by the TSA before the trip over.
canalbridgeLast stop is the Canal du Midi, which is part of the system that connects the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. After a stop at the Cafe Napoli for a constitutional served by the world’s happiest waiter and to watch various barges and boats go by, we snake down a dirt road so we can see the spot where the Canal passes on top of the Orbiel River. Behind us is a set of beautiful fenced-in gardens. Since it’s September, everything is in full fruit, including what Jane L. names tomeppers — long red fruit that looks like a tomato, but is shaped like a pepper.

Home for omelettes made by Chef Michel Lundeby and friendly chit-chat out by the pool.


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Carcassonne, France

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2 comments so far

  1. Jude

    You folks are seeing some amazing buildings and wonderful places. I also noticed the day’s clothes color was blue. You are so in harmony to each other. Looks like another fabulous day!

  2. Bill Lentz

    I agree with Jude, I really love there photo reports!

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