Day 13 of 400: Carcassonne – France

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When we came downstairs for breakfast, there were two places open at the table. The other guests were already at the table. The breakfast table had adorable little jars set in the middle filled with home made jam and each family had a basket full of various breads and croissants. Serge placed fresh fruit smoothies in front of each of us and his wife, Muryel served us coffee in the bowls we thought were for cereal!  After chatting with them both and discussing where to go, we headed straight for the centre of Carcassonne. 

We found a free parking spot and began walking around the city. There was an old fortress wall between what must have been the older part of town and the newer part. We walked in the direction of the big castle while stopping at random places for pictures and window shopping. As we continued to walk we saw the enormous castle that shadowed the village. There was a large bridge connecting the village to the castle area. This was something we hadn’t seen, the castle had its own fortress wall surrounding it even though we had already seen the village fortress wall. It was double protection from the enemy. Once over the bridge and inside the second fortress wall, there were little shops and restaurants.

We bought tickets and took the self guided tour. This castle was different from the others, it wasn’t just the ruins, it was actually still standing as it had been renovated. The tour talked to us about all of the various details built into it to protect the castle…we learned of “murder holes” which are small openings in the stone walls that allowed people to throw things at the intruder. We spent quite a while admiring the architecture.

We headed back to the B&B for a little downtime and then went to dinner at a brasserie (their version of a diner).  We talk so much about the great food we have, it is only fair to also describe some of the not so great food. We decided to order the 3 course meal for 14 euros each-bad idea!  The first course was their version of a salad bar…diced canned beats, dry frisee, canned mushrooms in red sauce and hard boiled eggs. Second course, a leg of duck served in a bowl of white beans and frozen white sole fish. The last course was a little plate of flan the was so gross, I had to force Giff to swallow it. I guess we can’t expect every meal to be perfect!

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