(I risked life and limb to get you this photo…)
We’ve arrived in Carcassonne. The old city is a château surrounded by shops and cafés and restaurants and ice cream places surrounded by a huge wall with turrets and barbicans, a moat and then another wall outside all that with more turrets and barbicans.There’s also a couple of hotels in there surrounded by the walls. It’s a little bit Disney and touristy but in a French way so not too perfect. It was saved from destruction in the 1800’s and renovated and now it’ll probably never fall down.
My favourite bit (not counting the ice cream) was the channels running down the middle of some of the streets. I like to imagine them channelling unwanted liquids down the hill and out through the walls. Fortunately they don’t use them anymore so the odours are very pleasant – mainly crêpes and coffee I think.
When I arrived at the walls I spotted a little train tour and having fond memories of previous train tours I hopped on board. It runs around the outside of the outer wall on cobblestone paths that are very bumpy (not great for photography) and very narrow (not great for the nerves.) But I did my best to take some photos and stay the nerves… I seem to have completely missed the audio with the effort though… did she say 38 turrets?
(Cute cafe within the ruins and garden of an old building)
My pictures don’t do it justice because the best views are from the air but Denis won’t hire a plane. When we were driving along the motorway towards Carcassonne we suddenly got an amazing view of the site. We were very excited. I scampered back and grabbed the camera and Denis opened the window. Now I need to stop here and give you another camper van tip – when the camper is moving do not open the window unless the person about to sit beside the window knows you are opening it… they are in danger of toppling out the said window because of the nearness of their posterior to the base of the open window…. and the photos suffer. Fortunately I did not topple out.
Ryanair flies very low over the old city of Carcassonne, that may well be the safest way to get great photos. Mairead.