Friday, 23 February 2007
We visited Carcassonne on the way back from leaving the potentially rabid cat with our son, while we returned to England. It is a most spectacular sight which we had spotted from the autoroute as we drove past on previous visits to said son, so we had it all planned out.
We relied totally on satellite navigation for the first time. Not a good idea. What we hadn’t realised was that the hotel was in the historic centre of la cité. After, um, a spirited discussion as to why Gladys was taking us this way, we found we had to be allowed through a barrier to cross the old bridge through some outer fortifications and it was narrow, narrow, narrow.
There were some further obstacles to overcome though: we couldn’t find the hotel – nobody told us it was in two parts; we (I say charitably) had booked for the wrong night; the car park was down a number of other narrow-to-vanishing-point lanes (with bollards at strategic positions); the room, although very pleasant, had a beam going through it at knee height. Very quaint but no nocturnal perambulations for us. By this time we were barely on speaking terms.
But it is a glorious place. If it hadn’t been so damnably cold I could have wandered about for hours on end. But then of course if it hadn’t been so damnably cold, it would have been packed with damnable tourists, just like ourseves.