Night Location: Carcassonne, France
Song of the Day: Wonder Wall - Oasis
Mumisode of the Day: Mum conveniently left all of Dad's Leonidas chocolate supply in our Le Puy hotel much to Dad's horror. Today in Cahors, another Leonidas store was located so he and Mum bought much of the store's supply!
The group was fairly sad to be leaving our home in Sarlat. It has been such a luxury to have our own private little space complete with front yard and fireplace. Mum in particular has been enjoying chopping wood and building the fire each night.
After a quick stop for coffee and Leonidas chocolate in Cahors, we paused for lunch in Albi. Albi is home to the largest brick building in France, a fortified brick cathedral. It is so hard to describe how immense this structure is; definitely not your average cathedral. It really does look like a fortress. It is so large in fact that you can't quite fit it in a picture, although Gemma tried several times. Along with being the largest brick structure, it also has the largest pipe organ in France and has a rare surviving stone rood screen.
The mist was rolling in as we approached the medieval city of Carcassonne. High up on the hill above the rest of the modern town, there were giant stone walls, cone topped towers and a draw-bridge. If you were going to draw a castle, this is probably the inspiration that you would have in your head even if you had never seen it before.
The group is experiencing a small taste of luxury here: we are staying in a private four bedroom villa within a hotel complex, tucked just beneath the medieval walls. Mum can look out her bedroom window and see the sun rise up over the turrets. The only negative thing about it is the extreme heat radiating within the walls of the villa. We have tried to turn off every heating element and open as many windows as possible with limited success. It literally feels like a sauna when we walk in.
Given the gentle rain that was falling this evening, we decided to pile into the car once again and head off down into the city for dinner. The curse of Monday was upon us as it looked a bit like a ghost town. There was a scary Pizza Snack place, but then Gareth discovered a restaurant that might be open so in we plunged, all dripping after walking around in the rain for about half an hour. It turned out to be a restaurant in an old horse stable. We sat at a table in one of the stalls. David had to straddle a table leg like he was riding a horse so this was quite appropriate. We spent a lot of the meal encouraging Mum to climb into the saddle that was on one of the walls separating the stalls, but without success.
After dinner we went in search of a supermarket to buy supplies for breakfast with limited success. Claude led us to two massive shopping centres that were definitely closed and we had significant difficulty exiting the car park as the Sortie signs didn't make a whole lot of sense. Mum had another, 'Don't we know the way out of here?" moment.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit clearer for the exploration of the old city.