Carcassonne will be our home for the month of September. It is truly every bit the fairytale you see in the photos. It is a hustling and bustling village that just happens to be 1000 years old. We love our twisty cobble stoned street that is lined with colorful two and three story houses with wooden shutters and elaborately carved doors. We love the many cafes and boulangeries that are brimming with the delights of the French countryside. We love strolling to the end of our street, Rue Trivalle, to walk along the swift rambling Aude River and picnic on it’s grassy banks. But most of all we love the castle. The castle is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. A few hundred feet is all that separates us from it’s wonders. Once through the majestic Porte Narbonaisse it is like being transported back to the Middle Ages. Dozens of crooked shops pressed together along the bumpy cobblestone alleys. Pastries and glaces, handmade soaps, woven tapestries, crepes, laces and linens, goblets and swords, handmade leather slippers, paintings and sketches, marzipan and chocolates. So many places to eat, you easily lose count. Rustic pubs with beamed ceilings and stained glass, upscale chateau dining with upholstered seats and heavy tapestries, airy garden restaurants underneath canopies of intertwined plane tree branches and of course no shortage of the quintessential French sidewalk cafe with colorful umbrellas and the endless soft clinking of glass and silverware. You feel as if you have travelled back in time as you walk along the ramparts or stroll through the lices (spaces between the two outer walls). We have been at the castle every day since our arrival and each time we discover a new alley or courtyard, a new shop or a secret passage. The delights of this place seem endless. Our favorite time of day is dusk. The moon and the sun sharing the evening sky which is an unimaginable shade of rich and silky blue. The light turning the stone of the castle the colour of honey. The evening breeze carrying the sounds and smells of another time, making us feel full and sleepy. Bon nuit, mes amis.
All of the photos on this page were taken by Jack McHugh. Except for the ones he is in, obviously.