France 2014: Road Trip – The Long Way Round

If we hadn’t taken a roundabout scenic tour, we would never have stopped at a little “aire” (parking area accessed from the autoroute) to obtain these photos.

Carcassonne from afar

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Leaving the aire

Leaving the aire

I love the way the signs in France have a big red line across them to indicate you are leaving an area.

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France 2014: Road Trip – More of Carcassonne

La cite de Carcassonne at night

La cite de Carcassonne at night

This post features photos taken by my husband, with my Olympus DSLR that he gave me for my birthday a few years ago. Although it takes brilliant photos, I tend to stick with my little Canon, due to its more portable size and ease of use.

A medieval mecca for tourists

A medieval mecca for tourists

Maison du Cassoulet

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Sometimes tourist areas are not the best places to dine, but this was delightful. The goat’s cheese salad seemed to comprise the cheese fried in a crepe triangle atop a lovely green salad, a wonderful starter. Cassoulet is a specialty of the region, with slow-cooked pork, duck and sausage and haricot beans. Think French-style baked beans!

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Carcassonne

Avoiding tourists appearing in our photos is a game we play. As we had arrived in the afternoon, the place was brimming with visitors, but the crowd had died down somewhat after dinner. Then the lights shone on the battlements to create an awe-inspiring atmosphere.

Bright and early the next morning we were back again, but by missing the tourists, we hadn’t thought about delivery trucks and people on their way to work at the many shops in the old city. As you can see, we managed to achieve the goal of the game.

Carcassonne early in the morning

Carcassonne early in the morning

Carcasonne

Carcassonne

And finally, the street that had been bursting with tourists had a greater sense of history in the morning in its stillness.

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France 2014: Road Trip to Sarlat-la-Canéda

Last time we were in Argenton-sur-Creuse, in 2010, we took a road trip up to Le Mont St Michel in Normandy, a medieval town virtually atop a little island. Google it to have  a look. Is this a case of history repeating itself? Perhaps, but you have to expect medieval architecture scattered across France, which is part of the charm of travelling all the way to Europe.  Australia’s architecture is less than 250 years old, so even our old buildings are relatively new.

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