Friday, 14 November 2008

Trade Places?

In the bottom corner of my home page I have this little weather box.  For most of the year it has reminded me of how lucky we are, weather wise, compared to Auckland.   Now this trend is starting to reverse and the worst is yet to come.

We are just about to go for a run as soon as Ange gets back from the local shop.  I have the thermals on, three layers in total and I'm still considering taking a jacket.

It's 11:24am and its 1ºC outside.

So, if you feel the warmth of the sun this weekend then spare a thought for us frozen Kiwis in Europe. 


iTs a NeW DaY!


Carcassonne - Tuesday

Old Walled City of Carcassonne 2Wide

Old Walled City of Carcassonne
A closer shot of the walled medieval city of Carcassonne. I love the colours.

East Gate
At the east gate where the two walls are connected by a drawbridge over a moat.

Dadandjames James is up to mischief (as usual)


The restaurant l'Ostal where we had dinner


ItSaysTouchMe JackintheBox Hole In The Wall Entrance2Camtal
A bit of history.. no this is not another French Facts post:)  Ange and I first visited Carcassonne in December 1998, she was about 23 weeks pregnant (with Jack) and we were on a round the world "blitzkrieg" trip.  We thought it would be our last chance to go travelling for a very long time.... 

We arrived in Carcassonne from London and were totally blown away by the medieval city and then spent a few days travelling up to the Lot and Dordogne departments.  On the first night in Carcassonne we found this restaurant that looked as old as the city itself. It was here, over dinner that we first explored the idea of spending a year in France at some distant time in the future.

The idea obviously took hold and so it was a nostalgic (and proud) moment to be able to go back to the same restaurant with the three boys to celebrate the achievement of turning this idea into a reality. The restaurant itself is nothing special.. it was just really really old and hadn't changed in 10 years (or probably 100), even the menus looked the same.

It is just as well that we left our Carcassonne adventure to the end of the year... all other castles and sites (even Beynac) would pale in comparison to this grand old city.  You can easily spend a day wandering through the old city and around the outer walls..  The tour through the Chateau was really impressive, the complex is huge and then you get to walk all the way around the top inner wall back to the east gate.  The whole Carcassonne experience is ridiculously cheap: of course it costs nothing to wander through the old city. The entrance to the castle is €7.5 for an adult and kids are free (viva la France)!

The accommodation was not bad for €100 a night and a short car journey from the old city.   We had a good look around the city and outer walls on Tuesday afternoon.  After dinner at restaurant l'Ostal we had another wander around the walls admiring how they had all been lit up at night. It had been a long day and a very tired bunch hit the sack early as tomorrow we planned to tour the Chateau. 
StreetScene TownSquare KingJames

I want Candy

Yeah.. this is want we all want.. on tap 24x7 at a store near you.

Not that far away.. Carcassonne to be exact. Just hop on a plane, fly to France, catch the TGV to Toulouse, change to a local service. CARCASSONE.

Taxi to old city.. enter through east gate (it is the only one). You can't miss it.

Or here it is in high definition: