Carcassonne, France

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Exploring the castle in the evening, recreating Abercrombie ads!
So our first venture outside of Londontown (about a month and a half after we’d been living there) was to a cute little medival town in France – Carcassonne! The only thing this town really has is the castle. Cute, ancient, lively… which means.. a wine and cheese picnic! Days before we were due to leave for this quick weekend retreat, one of my friends Kyle sent an email to our work detailing the wonderful weather, the wine and chese we’d wine & dine, and the splendid relaxing afternoon we would spend relaxing and enjoying this great little French gem. Of course, attached to the email was a picture similar to this one for those of us who are more visually stimulated:

We landed in one of the smallest airports I’d been in to date – it reminded me of a strip mall. After a short bus ride to the city center, we checked in to our super cute guesthouse run by Richard and Mei. The rooms were large, everything was clean and they were very hospitable and showed us on a map what we should do for the next two days.

Striking a pose in our cute guestroom. Good thing this wasn’t the redlight room.. Darrell (and his hotpants!)

El Mega Cute Rue de Septembre

After a walk and grabbing some wine and cheese, we lived out our dream! A picnic right next to the castle, topped off with treats from Vienna! The weather was gorgeous and it was a great way to tan and run around on the grass.

Wine, Cheese & Treats from Vienna compliments of Miss Goodkind!

The cutest and probably dirtiest dog in Carcassonne…I think it was lost though 😦

After exploring more of the medival town and practically my pitiful French (Je voudrais… une…crepe?) we settled on a cute place with outdoor tables for dinner. There were Christmas lights hanging and the floors were cobblestone … can we say OBSESSED? I’m pretty sure the unfortunate couple sitting next to us couldn’t ask we all starting belting out Christmas carols (more specifically, N’Sync Christmas songs) at the top of our lungs. To top the night off, “K” did his rendition of The Lion King’s Circle of Life at the top of his lungs. I’d have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it because I was well buzzed, but by the evil glares from neighboring tables, I’m going to take a wild guess they wanted us to stop singing Christmas songs 2 1/2 months early. Oh well, it’s the Circle of life.

One of my fav things ever are restaurants with outdoor seating. Add cobblestone roads, a jug of house white wine, warm evening weather (and by that I mean above 70’s) and I’m set!

Nighttime Carcassonne.

6 ft 4 Sean looks so small next to the castle!

The next day we had lunchtime crepes at another outdoor eatery which spilled into a street where cars could drive. So, every 5 minutes, those of us sitting on the street side of the table had to get up and move our chairs so delivery vans and even tourists who drove could pass us. Not a big deal – they all said Merci and were very nice about it.. and then an SUV came. Who drives an SUV in an old French town?! So on their way past us they yelled “Thanks guys!” … of course Americans would drive the car that uses the most gas through narrow European streets!!

The only time you’ll ever see Darrell doing labour – moving chairs for expensive cars to pass.

So we decide to kill some time before our flight and buy some snacks for our flat, our coworkers, and just because wanted to. Apparently I spent 20 euros on cookies (that’s what happens when you just put cookies into a bag and they weigh it when you get up to the counter!) and my flatmate spent 32 Euros on chocolates! We walk outside and told Kyle how much we just blew on snacks and his jaw drops and says, “well, you know… sometimes you just have to treat yourselves…”

So the best part of this holiday.. we all paid about 30 pounds for return plane tickets from London Stansted to Carcassonne (evenDarrell who claims his priority boarding “magically appeared” and he doesnt know what happened. We’re not in St. Lucia anymore). So we get to the airport, we all hand over our passports and the attendant informs us that she doesn’t have any reservation for Kyle. So she looks into it and he had booked his return flight for the day before….for a time that left 25 minutes after our flight had landed. HAHAHAHHAHA! So we go to the ticket counter, and the lady is typing away at the computer and says… so you’re total is going to be….

a 257 Euros and 96 cents “fun tax”

…..hey Kyle, do you realize that you could have paid for ALL our return tickets? hey Kyle, do you realize you could have bought lunch everyday since we’ve been here? hey Kyle, do you realized you could have bought half a ticket to Egypt?

It’s ok Kyle, sometimes you just have to treat yourself. Unfortunately, you got fun-taxed real heavily.

LODGE-istics

LODGING:
Millett Guesthouse – Richard & Mei’s Guesthouse
€29 / night
Richard & Mei are very friendly, but this isn’t a place intended for travelers to meet. The facilities, however, are all very clean and nice. Breakfast was included and amazing.

TRANSPORTATION:
Ryanair – London to Carcassonne
£30 return. However they often have deals to Carcassonne for £10 return
It’s a discount airline, and it shows. I love it though!
You can catch a bus from the airport to city center, it’s cheap and it’s only about a 15 minute ride.

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