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A taste of the sweet life

Carcassonne Concert in the Park


This blog post is going to be a bit different than what I normally do, but the girls insisted I tell my little french language antidote to all of my readers as well - enjoy !

Let me start first by telling you about the amazing free concert we girls went to in the park near Carcassonne's train station - Pink Martini, a band from Portland Oregon, played some great music for us all to enjoy in a very intimate setting so that we all felt part of the family while moving to the music and singing along with many of their eclectic set during the warm, sultry summer evening - thanks Pink Martini for the good time !


Leaving the city after the show, driving along the Canal du Midi quayside, a back way in and out of Carcassonne center, I had to mention to the girls about the signs that are posted on this particular road : "Attention Nids des Poule en Formation".  Now my french has gotten pretty good in the last 13 years, so for the most part I figure things out and can come up with a good explanation to street signs, as least.

I had been noticing these signs for a few years and couldn't figure out why they were so worried about some sort of 'chicken nests in formation' (literal translation), unless these particular chickens were possibly on the verge of extinction!  I always looked up to see if I could see these special poultry, but alas I never saw one!

I finally decided to ask a french friend about these rare birds and thier nests...and to my amazement, they were no birds involved - in fact, I should have been looking down to be careful of the forming potholes in the road and to be careful as they might appear when I least expected them.

We all had a good laugh on the drive home to end this spectacular evening among friends - thanks to you girls as well !


Cathar Castles - Carcassonne


The abundance of Cathar history in the Aude region is amazing, with many castles, sites & ruins strategically placed on mountain tops, cliff sides and in hidden valleys. As we are on the ‘road to penitence’, as they say, it just seems all the more appropriate that you visit at least a few while in the South of France.

Let's begin this series of about Cathar castles & ruins with the ever-popular, Carcassonne:


This medieval Cité was restored in 1853 after have been destroyed several times during history; the 1209 siege being the war against the Cathars, which swept it clean. Being a World Heritage Site you will be astounded by the many towers, turrets, walls within walls, ramparts and drawbridge of this fairy-tale city, which occupies a hill adjacent to the modern city of Carcassonne. You will find within the narrow maze of twisting cobble-stone streets the Château Comtal, which lays claim to the Cathar heritage, sitting within the city’s still intact walls. It is truly a place of amazing charm, even though it is clearly a tourists’ stop. Entry is free to visit the interior of the ancient city & the Comtal castle, within the walls. It is also easily accessible from several large openings & gates with abundant parking at the main entrance, and only 32 kilometers from Azille.

For more information on the South of France, sign-up for our free booklet with plenty of hints, tips and information on vacationing here - see you soon!