Monday, 11 February 2013


I took a fast train south from Paris passing through fog and snow to emerge somewhere called Montpellier, which the map tells me is on the Mediterrranean coast though all I saw was the station. From there it was a short trip to Carcassone where I arrived shortly after one.

The town is two or three parts depending on your point of view. There is a 'new' town around the cathedral built in the 13th Century and surrounded by a ring of wide roads following the old city walls, which are still visible in places. Outside this on three sides are more modern suburbs but it is the fourth side that is of more interest. Across the river on a hill top is old Carcassone surrounded by still standing walls that link to the castle.

After exploring the old town in the morning I bought a ticket for the castle and discovered it included a tour in English along the city wall - which was as fascinating as it was cold. In between I tried the local cassoulet for lunch and confirmed that the south of France is not warmer than the north.

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