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Published: February 6th 2007
on saturday i took the train, with some of the people from my program, to carcassonne, a rick steves-y attraction that was well worth my 34 euro train ticket. the trip was an hour and a half by corail, the slllowww train. for second class and for being the slow train, it was great. it was a quiet and smooth ride that i passed reading harry potter à l'école des sorciers. once in carcassonne, we realized that we didn't have a map of the town, or know where we were supposed to be heading. we did have a rick steves walking tour of the old city, but we needed to find it first. we found our way to the tourism office, where there was a map posted on the tour. we saw that we needed to head southeast, so we did, and crossed a pedestrian bridge over a wide, calm river. it was incredibly sunny, to the point that the castle in the distance was hazy. once in the older part of town, we climbed up and around small streets and found ourselves at the entrance to the old fortress. once inside the first wall, we had to pass through another.
upon reaching the castle within the castle, we had to go through another wall, across what used to be a moat, and then through the final castle walls. it was a fascinating place. in what used to be the great hall for entertaining, there was a very interesting movie (one might call it AWESOME!) which told about how the castle has been rebuilt countless times, and how archeologists are trying to discover who built what where and when. it was all very scientific, they are using 3-D modeling to look where they would otherwise not be able to. the most interesting tidbit that i learned was that on castle walls back in the day, some group of somebodys leveled the walls that they built with a line of red bricks. and indeed, we saw the line of red bricks outside of the main castle wall. did you learn about that in one of your archeology classes, tom? carcassonne was a beautiful place. wherever i turned there was a picturesque view, and i wasn't shy about taking pictures and trying to capture what i saw. after the main castle we visited the trademark gothic cathedral, which was nice and was undergoing
some reconstruction or refurbishing. after seeing the sights, we were all quite hungry and wanted to do some eating. we had trouble making up our minds on where to go, but i was happy to pay more for a sit down meal which i would remember. i definitely will remember it, because i had a red omelette which was delicious. the "fries" here are also delicious. the oil that they are fried in is almost sweet, and i love it, which is a lot coming from me! after our meal, i'm not ashamed to admit, i ordered a m&m mcflurry at the local mcdonalds! and so ended my short trip to carcassonne, because after ice cream, we headed back to the train station and returned to montpellier.
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