It feels like an absolute age ago that B & I got back from the South of France, I’ve been meaning to sit down and write this post ever since, but we were there for 9 days and so the amount of images I had to sort through was more than a little daunting – I guess I was a bit too snap-happy with the camera.
It was this time last year that we visited Carcassonne the first time, and we loved it so much that went back again – plus our friend had a beautiful, old town-house, about 15 minutes from the city in a small village called Montreal – so accommodation was sorted. We didn’t land in France until about 5pm and after waiting a couple of hours to sort out the hire car, we decided to spend the first evening settling in, by gorging ourselves on cheese and drinking the local wine.
On our first morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to nip down to the patisserie to load up on croissants, bread and mille-feuille, and then back to the house to prepare the garden for breakfast – this was pretty much the start of every day for us, binging on jam, pastries and coconut yoghurts. Then we headed into the city to visit one of our favourite shops from the year before, Trocante. It’s essentially a second hand junk shop, but for us it’s like some kind of treasure trove, both my friend Daniel & I came away with new watches (mine was only €1.50!!!), and the girls bought so much that they had to checkin an extra suitcase on the flight back. We grabbed ourselves some lunch in the town square and then made our way up to the medieval fort at the top of the hill for views out across the city. That evening we also decided to throw a little belated birthday surprise for Polly, her being none the wiser and prepping food in the kitchen, we managed to sneak out the back and decorate the garden with balloons, bunting and candles. It was such a lovely evening with too many Margaritas, too much Prosecco and then rounded off perfectly with a couple of fireworks.
As I’m sure you can imagine, the next day none of us were feeling our finest, so we had a relatively relaxed day at the lake, and so on our fourth day we were all recuperated and ready to explore the areas around Carcassonne. In the morning we drove west towards the coast, and ended up in a small fishing town called Gruissan – again somewhere we had visited the year before, but we knew the mussels were going to be amazing and so hung around for lunch. In the afternoon we drove further down the coast towards the Mediterranean to Port Leucat, the beaches were incredible! We arrived at around 3pm, found ourselves a little shade and some hammocks and then went for a dip in the sea. We ended up staying until about 11pm, we had spent all day lounging in the hammocks and decided to stay for dinner. Not only was the food amazing, but there is always something pretty special about having dinner on the beach, its so relaxing and peaceful.
Mid-way through the trip we had planned to go and stay with our friend Arnaud, who was staying at his parents place in Arles, whilst he work at the Photography Festival. It was about a two and a half hour drive, but well worth it. The town is amazing, it has a giant amphitheatre at its centre, and we spent the majority of the day walking round, trawling through antique shops and having lunch outside the Van Gogh Cafe. We spent the evening at Arnauds, about 20minutes out of the city, it’s a beautiful place, and the sky was so clear we spent a good hour watching for shooing stars – and actually managed to see a few – and spent the next day chilling by the pool and soaking up the sun.
We rounded off our week with another trip in to Carcassonne’s city centre and a second day by the lake. We had such an amazing time, and are already getting itchy feet for next summer.
What trips has everyone else got planned for the summer?
Thanks for reading