Paris to CarcassonneSeptember 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.Read more