As some of you may have seen, last month B and I went away with friends on holiday to Carcasonne in the south of France. We stayed at a friends family retreat in a neighbouring village called Montréal for nine blissfully days of perfect weather. It was beautiful, perched on top of a hill, the house used to be part of the old village cinema, but had long since been divided into town houses. Our room overlooked the courtyard, with a view across the valley below, with swifts and swallows a swooping – it was great. Montréal itself ticked all the boxes when it comes to a picturesque rustic french village. At the hill’s peak was the church, and we were only a short 2 minute walk from the bakery – fresh croissants, baguettes and pastries every morning – parfait.
The majority of our days were spent sitting by the pool sipping margaritas, having BBQs and soaking up the sun. Although all we wanted was to relax, eat, drink and tan, we did force ourselves to venture out and explore what Carcassonne had to offer. Twice we packed up Mr Pink – the inflatable flamingo – and went down to Lac de la Cavayère, for a swim and go on the inflatable assault-course. And of course we took a trip into the old town to visit the medieval castle – one of the largest in Europe, and apparently what Walt based the Disney castle on – it was pretty impressive. The old town is within the walls of the fortress, all narrow lanes and alleys, which work their way round to the actual castle perched on the very top of the hill. Whilst it was a great day out, it was packed with tourists and the restaurant we stopped at wasn’t the best, I tried Cassoulet, a local dish – never again.
On our second to last day we went in search of the beach and ended up at a little costal town called Gruissan, went for a dip in the sea and then walked into the town and up to the fort ruin on the hill. Being drawn astray by ice-creams on the way back, we lost track of time, and on returning found the road had been shut off and the car blocked in. Luckily with a few pleading smiles and a lot of apologising we managed to convince several restaurants to pull aside tables and make us a way through to escape. It was quite the charming little town, beautiful town houses and amazing views.
Most evenings were spent eating in the garden, watching the sun go down with a glass of vino, but on the last night we found ourselves belting out 90’s classics on Polly’s family Karaoke machine. As with every holiday, time flew by and before we knew it we were landing in the UK, but feeling relaxed, recuperated and slightly bronzed – we’ve already been discussing next years return trip!
Oh yeah and I bumped into my first red squirrel – loved it