Despite all feeling pretty tired from the previous day’s exertions, we checked out of our apartment in Valmeinier and drove through the Alps towards our destination for the day: Carcassonne. The scenery was stunning; we came from lush mountain passes to open terrain bursting with sunflowers, and the sun was shining so the drive was really enjoyable (well, the part that I was awake for anyway)! When we got hungry, we pulled off the motorway in search of a small town where we could get a lunch that wasn’t takeaway. We drove into a town with a cafe on the corner of the street, so we parked and sat down, ordering their set lunch menu (none of us are particularly familiar with the French language, so it seemed the easiest option). We were rewarded with a fresh ham salad – but none of that nasty bright pink, thick stuff you get in England/Australia/USA – this was more like prosciutto; thin, fresh and delicious! The main course was a chicken and mushroom dish with rice and beans covered with a garlic butter sauce, accompanied by a glass of red wine, and dessert was a creme caramel which I couldn’t eat but which Brendan thoroughly enjoyed.
I ended my delicious meal with an espresso; this hearty offering came to a mere €12 each, and so with full bellies we returned to the road, passing through the Pyrénées and arriving at Carcassonne in the late afternoon. I had been dying to check out the medieval walled city since seeing a photo online – we didn’t have a long time to see the sights though, so we quickly checked into our B&B (a gorgeous & quaint establishment called Côté Cité), and walked up the hill to see the fortified city of Carcassonne:
After wandering around the narrow, cobbled streets for an hour or so it began to rain, and the sky looked very ominous so we took a seat in a nearby bar which used to be the walled courtyard of one of the ancient homes in the city, and shared a bottle of local wine whilst listening to the thunder rolling overhead.
By the time the rain had subsided we were feeling a bit peckish, but after our huge lunch there was no way we could bear the idea of a full meal, even though we were interested to try the local specialty, cassoulet. Instead, we settled on a delicious French favourite: crêpes.
I chose a Nutella crêpe, my favourite, and the boys decided on a ham and cheese version…although once they’d finished that they also ordered a Nutella crêpe each! It was a delicious dinner. We were basically ready for bed by this time, so we walked back down the hill to our B&B and relaxed in the pretty room, entertaining ourselves with checkers and stormwatching and then falling asleep at an unthinkably early hour. We’d be needing our sleep for the epic day to come…Want to see more posts like this?
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