Arrondissement de Carcassonne

Here you’ll find travel reports about Arrondissement de Carcassonne. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

70 travelers at this place:

  • Day13

    Paris to Carcassonne

    September 8, 2017 in France ⋅

    That was a bit of an adventure. The freak show was on the move, twaddling through the streets of Paris with our luggage to the Anvers Metro station, changed lines a few stops along, then meandered over to the regional line, waited two hours for our train to come, caught the train to Narbonne (lovely relaxing part of the journey) and then we jumped on the train from Narbonne to Carcassonne where the train people decided that oversubscribing the number of passengers was a jolly good idea so we were squeezed into a train with way too many people, their luggage and their bikes. The only thing missing from the scene was a chicken or two flapping around (here Craig and I think back to our journey to Taveuni with Neal and Kerry-Anne). Poor Kate was once again at the correct height to smell the underarms and bums of obese smokers ;-)

    Luckily, our AirBnB was less than a 5 minute walk from the train station where we were met by our host. After dumping the luggage we set of for the 25 minute walk to the medieval Cité de Carcassonne.

    This place was spectacular. It has a 2,500 year history, but by the 1850s had fallen into disrepair and was decreed to be demolished. Thankfully the locals strongly opposed the idea and there was a campaign to restore it. Since then it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with good reason. We were able to freely walk along the ramparts. This sort of thing continually amazes us, whereas in Australia all the area would be regulated to death in terms of heights where railings would be in place. Here, there are huge drops and you walk freely through the place.

    The streets inside are cobbled and winding with little shops. There were a lots of tourist shops, which many of the reviews I read were quite disparaging about. I don't necessarily think they detracted from the place at all and gave it a bit of a market town bustle and appeal.

    After circumnavigating, we found a restaurant in the main square and we all elected to have cassoulet - a local dish which is a casserole containing a pork sausage, a duck leg and white beans which in essence forms a thick gravy. We also had a very LARGE bier (500mls), the boys had more than one. As a result, it was necessary to walk the last bit of getting home very fast in order to prevent bladder explosion.
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  • Day156

    The Medieval City of Carcassonne

    October 4, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

    Carcassonne is the largest intact walled city in Europe. The city was started by the Romans, and because of its strategic location as a trade route, it has become what it is today: a well-maintained double-walled city.

    This year is the 20th anniversary of the city being placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and to celebrate, the city contracted with Swiss artist, Felice Varini, who attached yellow concentric circles around one of the walls' gates. it is a temporary exhibit; the circles are made of aluminum tape that comes off without residue.Read more

  • Day156

    The Old City and its Basilica

    October 4, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

    The old streets are fun to walk around. We discovered a beautiful basilica, named after two 1st century martyrs, Saint Nazaire and Saint Celse, built in 1066 (Roman) and later embellished in Gothic style. While we were in the basilica, we heard a Russian quartet singing sacred music a capella. Their voices seemed to fill the sanctuary and float to Heaven!Read more

  • Day14

    Boating on the Canal du Midi

    September 9, 2017 in France ⋅

    We spent the day mildly experiencing what it would be like to be homeless in inclement weather. We had to leave our accommodation by 10am but couldn't check into our canal boat until 3pm, but it was raining in Carcassonne, which made everything all that much more difficult.

    So, we spent some time hanging out in the train station, a bit of grocery shopping, lunch under a tree by the canal, a very prolonged coffee in a shop, and then a bit of loitering at the canal boat place and we managed to get on the boat without getting wet!

    We had a few hours changeover with the boat where we got some navigation instruction from Alex (who was quite hopeless at driving boats, so not sure that we learnt much!), but which gave us a chance to work out we didn't have towels or toilet paper - the necessities of life... so we could rent some towels and buy some loo paper, and we were set.

    I had to purchase a Captain's hat for the husband so that he could pretend he really was in charge of the boat!

    And then we were off. Only a short km or two down the road and we hit our first lock. All was good though and I think we didn't do too badly navigating in and out of the lock. We are spending this entire journey "locking down" which is infinitely easier than going upstream from what I can tell.

    We pegged off on the bank a little white later and I made a risotto au jambon et aux champignons for dîner - yummy! (Sounds so much more exotic en Francais!)
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  • Day15

    Our first full day on the Canal

    September 10, 2017 in France ⋅

    More of the same really, locking, cruising, stopping and exploring, pegging off to sleep the night. Glen and Jeff made sausages and mashed potato for dinner with a yummy salad. We were followed by the crazy French man who drives his boat like a bull in a china shop - either totally full thrust forward or totally full thrust backward... as a result, he is spending a lot of time running into the lock gates, the other boats in the locks, the banks either side leading in or out of the lock. We are all quite surprised their boat is still afloat really!

    The other phenomena is that it is REALLY WINDY! And rained intermittently. Quite annoying really because the sun is not really an overwhelming factor of our day, and it interrupting my preconceived vision of cruising along the canal with a glass of vino in hand.
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  • Day2

    Carcassonne - Bézier - Montpellier

    October 6, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Carcassonne - Bézier - Montpellier

    After having breakfast with Zé and Luisa we went to the food market in the city centre of Carcassonne. I was never in France before. This is my first time but what the eyes can see and the nose can smell takes me back to the imaginary of Joanne Harris and her books about France. Although we’ve just had breakfast I feel like eating all the nuts and olives. The fruits and veggies were so fresh and the flowers incredibly beautiful and scented. Afterwards we went back to the Gare de Carcassonne, just to take a look at the Canal du Midi during the day. Throughout the day we passed by it many times and on Béziers we made long stop to visit the nine dams that are ready to get the boats up and down the canal. It is amazing that so many years ago they had the knowledge to build such a great art of engineering. The city centre of Béziers is also very nice with its catedral showing its grandiosity as a skyscraper of the past! But before getting there we still had time to go to the citadel of the castle in Carcassone with a short stop to taste the Cassoulet, which is like our “feijoada” in Portugal.
    In the evening Montpellier almost gets me crazy. It is not easy to park a car in French cities and when finally we can do it, because a car is leaving, but the driver gets mad at your position in the park and he decides to put the car back in the parking place and start shouting at me... then I caught myself shouting back and saying a bunch of “truths” to the man like: “Vous êtes trés gentile. C’est à cause de personnes comme vous que j’aime lá France!!!” It seemed that suddenly I could speak French!!! Eheheh! In the end he left and we had a perfect spot! Dinner was perfect too. The city centre of Marseille is very lively and the food was special! Once again, but under a heavy rain and crazy thunderstorm, we slept in the van in a place out of Montpellier called Carnon-Plage - a small stripe of land facing the salty lagoons and the Mediterranean Sea.
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  • Day156

    The Old Roman Bridge

    October 4, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 77 °F

    Walking from the castle to the Roman Bridge leads to some pretty views from the "newer" old town. This area used to be a wool manufacturing area, and the Canal du Midi was used to transport the cloth for export.

  • Day22

    After yesterdays windy day it was more the same today. Now the canal may look pretty but as a cyclist it can get pretty boring pretty quick so I decided to jump up onto the roads and go through some of the small villages and towns. Only problem with this was the roads were even more exposed to the wind so after a few miles it was back to the canal and head down.

    By early afternoon and I'd had enough and had arrived in Carcassonne, a medival town famous for its 53 watchtowers and double walled fortifications making it a world heritage site so good place to stop have a wander around and a few beers watching the football.

    With the plan to head to the coast tomorrow and with the weather looking even worse with rain as well as the wind it could be interesting.
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  • Day417

    Day 418: City of Carcassonne

    April 8, 2018 in France ⋅

    Today was a classic castle day. Carcassonne is a town in south-western France that's home to a castle of the same name, basically unchanged since the middle ages. It's considered one of the most intact and best preserved castles in the world.

    So we drove over and parked nearby, under sadly gloomy skies - but at least it wasn't raining! We wandered around the walls, very large and imposing! It's actually a double set of walls, one inside the other, with a total combined length of around 3km.

    Inside the city it's exactly what you'd expect a medieval city to be like; very cramped, hemmed in and narrow. But very atmospheric as well, despite all the tourist shops. Basically every business was catering to tourists in some way, whether it was selling placemats or magnets or wooden knight toys.

    Wandered around and enjoyed ourselves, picking out a few points of interest. Opted against going inside the castle since Schnitzel wasn't allowed in, and we'd heard reports that it wasn't super interesting inside anyway.

    Had a sit-down lunch of cassoulet, a local speciality - a white bean stew with pork broth and a Toulouse sausage, very tasty! By mid afternoon we were finished filming, so retreated back to the hotel under still gloomy skies. At least we hadn't really been rained on!
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  • Day23

    Banyuls-Sur-Mer to Carcassone

    May 17, 2016 in France ⋅

    After a full buffet breakfast we caught a TAXI to the railway station-4-5km. 11euro worth it.! Station not open before9:30 ie to alter tickets- a nice Indian Frenchman & I talked about the train strike happening today-- fortunately after our scheduled trip. Anyway we were able to leave earlier to avoid a 5 min connection change & also to skip one train change completely. First train SNCFwas comfy and enough room for feet. The TGV was harder to get on- station platform attendant sent us to wrong car& we had to quickly backtrack. It was hard to carry big bags up a spiral staircase to move through an electrically operated door to find a woman in one of our seats. She moved. What was really interesting was while waiting on Narbonneplatform for our TGV we were almost blown off the platform by the goods train! Arrived just after 1 pm in Carcassone and walked to hotel Bastide. An older place , clean 3rd floor- thank goodness for elevator- mind you it wouldn't fit all luggage & ourselves in one go. Visited the medieval town - really nice imagining how the people lived and managed against foreign invaders. Spent an hour at the laundromat too! Dinner yummy made up rolls with Gorgonzola , prosciutto , tomato , lettuce and peeled carrot. Yum and red wine- bed time now. .... Tomorrow we may do a canal boat ride before training on to Nimes for a few days .Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Arrondissement de Carcassonne

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