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August 13th 2012
Published: August 13th 2012
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We arrived in Carcassonne early Wednesday afternoon and met our delightful host of the B & B we stayed in. We were surprised to see that we had a small apartment rather than just a room. After settling in we orientated ourselves to the Bastide St Louis, which is the “modern part of the City” (it’s actually 13thcentury!).

The next morning (Thursday) we went to explore La Cité which is a 12th century fortified walled city and its castle. Early evening we took a boat trip up the Canal du Midi, which is a man-made canal that stretches 240 km from Toulouse. There are many locks in this canal, one being a 7-gate system rising 20 metres.

Friday it was 43 degrees and we went to visit the Cathar Castles at Lastours; (fools are we). There is a series of four castles in ruin on top of peaks 300 metres above sea level with very little shade. We now both have sunburn as a result. However we still enjoyed the sights.

On Saturday we went to visit to famous abbeys. The first was at Lagrasse. Lagrasse is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. In comparison to other village in this category that we have seen, we beg to differ. The abbey is made up of 12th and 18th century buildings. We were not able to see the 18th century part, as it is still operating as a monastery. We then went to Fontfroide Abbey. This was in a form of a guided tour. We thought that this abbey was more impressive than Lagrasse. It used to be a Cistercian abbey.

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