Sunday, May 14, 2017

Dreaming of France -- Carcassonne

Thank you for joining this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
So, I'm in France now -- no longer just dreaming of France, I'm actually living it, although today, I'm exhausted with 27,000 steps on my Fitbit -- that's 11.5 miles.
We started Mother's Day with a hike in the Pyrenèes -- a six-mile walk into the mountains.

Then we had time to grab lunch and take a shower before meeting a blogging friend, Taste of France, and her husband in Carcassonne. They have two gorgeous 17th century apartments in the heart of Carcassonne on Airbnb, so if you're looking for a place to stay, I can highly recommend them.
Now, I had no idea that the city of Carcassonne and the huge fort and castle on the hill were two separate place but within walking distance of each other.
Our GPS wouldn't pick up the square where we planned to meet, so Earl and I just followed the signs to La Cité.

Wow. Doesn't it take your breath away?
Then we walked down into Carcassonne to meet my blogging friend.
The day had threatened rain, but it turned out to be quite warm. We sat in a beautiful square, where apparently the market is held on market days.
Then we checked out some places in the old city. If I got part of the story straight, Carcassonne was partially built by King Louis IX after the Cathars were thrown out of La Cité during the 12th century crusades. The people had no place to go so a city across the river was born.
Next we walked up to the fortress.

It reminded me a lot of Mont St. Michel. The medieval fort and castle is filled with touristy shops but hasn't become Disneyfied. Every step inside reminds you that ancient people lived there and made their home there.
It's all pretty amazing.
 
And then on the way back to our B&B, we had to stop the car for goats! What? 

Thanks for playing along with Dreaming of France. Please leave you link below and visit each other's blogs to share your love for France.


7 comments:

francetaste said...

Oh, Paulita, it was absolutely a pleasure to show you some of the hidden corners of Carcassonne. But there are more!
Wishing you the best in your search. When I told our kid about our outing, the response was: "That would be cool if they moved here."
C&S

Louise said...

Oh wow. What a beautiful area. I will have to catch up on your posts from the last week. Much French action! So many adventures and decisions for you. How incredible.

Paulita said...

Francetaste, Carcassonne is definitely tempting. We'll probably be back on market day to check it out again. It's nice to have a built-in friend!
Louise, I have so many posts I've yet to write! I'll be catching up for months. Thanks for playing along.

Just Me said...

Absolutely takes my breath away. And hiking in the Pyrenees, my word ! I can't even spell it. Carsassonne is fascinating.

Paulita said...

Just Me, I know. It's awesome. As we were driving today, we saw farther peaks that are still covered with snow, so maybe we aren't even in the big Pyrenees.

francetaste said...

Me again: you're right, the big Pyrénées are a bit farther, but not much. From Carcassonne to Andorra is 3 hours (as long as a slow camper or semi isn't in front of you on the winding road).
Andorra is a microstate--a principality ruled jointly by Spain and France. It is very pretty, heaven for hikers in summer and a big ski (and shopping) destination in winter. It can be done as a day trip.
There also are ski slopes just past Quillan, at Camaurac. And then farther down, by Ax-les-Thermes. There is a ski club in Carcassonne where adults and kids can get group lessons. They take the bus every Saturday from January to April, there and back. Lessons, lunch, transportation and equipment all included for a very reasonable price (I think it was €400). Our kid did it a few years. Quite a shock for a flat-lander from the Midwest.
But no snow in Carcassonne.

Jeanie said...

How I love that you are living your dream! It's beautiful! And your Mother's Day sounds fabulous, too!

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Thank you for joining this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog . Share with the rest of us yo...