26th October 2016. Narbonne and Carcassonne, France.

Whoopee, we woke up to good weather for our trip round Narbonne.  A nice Frenchman came over as we were getting ready to go out and told us (in French) that the card we’d received when we paid to stay over entitled us to a free return trip into Narbonne on the bus but then he noticed the bikes and said it was only 2.5 km into town.  He also mentioned a covered market that was worth visiting.  It was so kind of him to take the time to come over especially as he could see we were a British van and he didn’t speak English.

We cycled to the Tourist Information Office and I went to the counter to speak to the man there.  I started talking in my limited French and he asked whether I’d like him to speak in English, I was confused by his accent for a brief moment and asked him where he came from, he replied “Salisbury”!  Needless to say he spoke English very well and was very helpful, he said it would take about 10 minutes to cycle round and it did.

It was a very pretty town and we had lunch in the square beside the church, the French make such good coffee, I hope it’s as good in Spain.

We popped into the covered market and bought some quiches and a cake from one of the stalls, (we had 2 of the quiches for dinner in the evening and they were lovely, the cake was gone the minute we got back to the van.)

After lunch we drove to Carcassonne.  I was very excited about going there, I’ve been wanting to visit it for years.

We noticed on the drive to Carcassonne that there were women sitting on chairs at the entrance to some of the truckers lay byes, Darren suggested perhaps they were selling sandwiches to passing lorries! (apparently according to Mandy women in see through dresses and no knickers don’t sell sandwiches, who’d have thought it).  We had seen a lady a few days before sitting in the rain on a garden chair huddled under an umbrella and she was in the middle of nowhere (there always a need for sandwiches even in the middle of nowhere, look at ‘little chef’).

We had a an aire programmed in but as we drove down towards the first one we noticed a motorhome turning at the end of the road and as she started to drive past us she wound down the window to tell us the aire was closed and turned into a coach park.  Darren did a 3 point turn and we made our way to the only other aire there.  We eventually found it beside a campsite that was closed for the winter and it turned out to a very nice site, it had been landscaped and was very quiet.

It had turned into such a nice day we decided to walk up to Carcassonne and I’m very glad we did. There was a sign showing a footpath and as we walked round the corner we were greeted by an amazing view of Carcassonne, what a stunning walled city.

The footpath took us along beside a small stream and we could hear some lovely folk music, as we came to an out building we saw a girl dancing to the music and a band playing, they sounded great, someone was playing the Cabrette/ French bagpipes.

It was a bit of a climb up to the walled city but it was well worth it, we discovered when we left that there were actually some steps just after the short bit of muddy bank we’d scrambled up.

As we walked to the city walls we saw a photo shoot going on so I took advantage and took some photos of the Saracen posing in the archway and later caught a glimpse of the lady acting with him.

I’d love to go back to Carcassonne again, it wasn’t very big but it was a lovely place to explore and looking out over the modern part of the city and the mountains as the sun was beginning to set was wonderful.


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