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Published: February 18th 2012
Frank and I were just talking while the children had a sleep in the back seat en route to Carcassonne. It's amazing how easy life seems on holiday, with no mail, phone calls or e-mail to return, and no household jobs calling! The other advantage of holidays is that when there's no rushing around to school and various activities, the children are incredibly co-operative and I'm not having to yell at anyone to hurry up. We are all enjoying each others' company so much. I don't know how you re-create this environment at home, but we are enjoying it while we can!
If Verona was Isabel's request, a knight's castle was Hugo's. We certainly found a beauty at Carcassonne! My photos are a little disappointing because the scale of the place from a distance is truly impressive. You can see it for miles.
We had arranged to meet Astrid, Steve and the kids outside the castle for our picnic, and we found a beautiful shady spot with grass and a good view which was perfect. The almond cake we had bought in Uzes lived up to expectations, and it was quite sad to think that we wouldn't taste it
again unless we went back there. Oh the food has been such fun..........
Exploring the castle was quite an experience. We wandered around a bit and heard about a wedding that was going to take place in the magnificent chapel that afternoon. As we wandered along the ramparts, we realised that we were looking down on the guests at the outdoor wedding reception. People really do still live inside the castle walls, and it was a bit surreal at times looking down on modern outdoor furniture in the midst of all the medieval-ness! The shops were best avoided (money was burnng a hole in the kids' pockets!), even though there were some magnificent antiques in a few shop windows. We decided that an ice-cream (Glace now that we are in France!) might be a good idea though, and it was thoroughly enjoyed in the heat of the afternoon.
Too soon it was time to hop back in the cars and continue our long drive to Tamnies, and we were treated to an amazing scene with hundreds of riders assembled on their horses in what had been the moat of the castle. They began riding en-masse around the castle
walls - men, women and children. What the occasion was, we never worked out, but it was incredible to watch. After all the excitement, no-one minded sitting down in the car for a while, and we made it to Tamnies before dark.
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