Monday, February 23, 2015

Castles, cathedrals and croissants with Courtine

Oh, what a great week I had with Courtney. She inspired some amazing day trips some far, some close but man did we see some amazing things. It was great fun to travel with someone who thinks a window full of pastry, a distant castle or a flowering weed in the path are each just as photogenic.
 We visited some famous places- ie. Carcassonne, a fortified french town that's the second most popular tourist destination in France (after the Eiffel tower).
Happily it's off season so although we didn't have it to ourselves it was a much diminished crowd and we could really enjoy this masterpiece that dates back to some Celts in 600bc. With ramparts and drawbridges and two outer walls to guard the city, we had much to point our cameras at. We learned a smidgen of the intense history of Romans and Visigoths and Cathars. We read of sieges and surrenders, the inquisition tower(!), and disrepair and eventual restorations.

Then the real wandering began...

 with a hundred stops for photos, for chocolate croissants, and for digging up roadside herbs.

we followed the Orb river for the better part of a day

those are olive trees in that vineyard!

signs of spring everywhere!

you can't quite see the crazy kayakers up there

I just cannot stop the vineyard photos, I love them all.

And on to Montpellier!!

starting the day out right

And onto Bouziques for oysters!!

Narbonne market
It was back to sunny Narbonne for Courtney for some great shopping (red shoes!) and to catch her train to Barcelona and make her way back to a snowy New England. I feel such gratitude to Courtney for making this happen for yourself and for me too!

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