I really didn’t think I had so many photos to share from France, until I sat down at my computer yesterday and started uploading them. As it turns out, there are way too many to share. I’ve broken it into a few parts, so hopefully it will be a little more easily digestible. The first, a little tour of our rental apartment and the castle in our back garden!
Michael did all the planning for this trip, like he does for all our trips (yep, I’m a lucky girl!), and he hit it out of the park with this apartment rental. It was literally at the base of the enormous castle in Carcassonne – that photo above, on the right, was the view from sitting at the table on terrace in the photo the left! It was so fun to eat breakfast out there each morning and look up at the castle above us. We also had so much fun listening to the sound checks for the evening concerts held throughout July in the castle’s ampitheatre!
In the kitchen, there was a dungeon. Well, technically, it was a well, but it was way more fun to think of it as a dungeon. Especially since the grating and glass over it seemed more safe than scary. The caretaker told us they were still researching to determine its age – between 1000 and 2000 years old! She also told us that the stone was all exposed in the recent renovation – and that some of it was taken from the castle grounds before they outlawed that!
At the top of all those steps, the castle. It’s enormous and in incredible shape, thanks in part to an architect the city hired in the 1850′s to restore it. We couldn’t believe the little city inside the castle – shops, restaurants, and even homes, all enclosed within those walls! One evening, we met Kate and Sean of Poppies and Me Photography, who were in town from Ireland to photograph the wedding we were attending, for dinner at one of the restaurants. We had an incredible view of the castle from the outdoor terrace, and great chats with new friends. Such a happy bonus of our trip!
We learned a few things about Carcassonne in the first few days – rent the smallest car you can because many of the streets are very narrow. We managed without any scrapes, but there were a few close calls. Also, never wear wedges or heels to the castle. The ground is not smooth. Even Dublin’s cobblestones do not compare!
I’ll sprinkle in the rest of my photos over the coming days. We made a trip to the Mediterranean and then there was, of course, an incredible chateau wedding!