A Candle Lit in Carcassonne

A Week of Red Wine and Reminiscence

The sun was rising over Carcassonne, but I was alone as I explored the Medieval Cite

Mum and I spent a week in France in October, just us. I cannot remember the last time we spent alone together like this, and I was delighted that she wanted to see our project

I slept at our house but installed her in our neighbour’s apartment, and the nicest parts of the days were the evenings when we’d have something to eat together and then settle down with a glass or two of red wine, and simply natter

Through the week we discussed various family histories (and, we decided, perhaps a few myths). We also talked about her childhood and siblings, of her experiences and loss as a young girl during World War Two, and then of her long and happy marriage to Dad

We stayed overnight at Carcassonne on the way home, as I wanted to share the Medieval Cite with her

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I was tired, having picked up ‘something’ which turned out to be a chest infection and struck me dumb for eight full days once I was home. Still, the early October weather was kind and we sat in the sun with afternoon drinks, and then wandered off to soak up the al fresco atmosphere at dinner within the city walls

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The next day was our last, so I went out early to take a few snaps. The solitude and peace was totally different from the previous evening, and the light was just catching the Cite

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I noticed someone else: a nun, on her way to open the Cathedral

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I followed inside. She glanced at me, perhaps slightly disapproving, but didn’t ask me to leave. Inside, candles still burned in dedication from the day before, and the enormous windows were illuminated in the golden morning light

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I continued to wander a while, before heading back to breakfast with Mum. We were travelling with only hand luggage and so we were quickly packed and out again to explore. I was keen to show Mum the Cathedral, and the day was deliciously warm

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That day Mum and I lit a candle of our own, as if to mark the end of our week together. It felt right, somehow, and I think of it often


I wouldn’t normally include travel notes, but:

Carcassonne is not ideal for anyone who uses a walking aid, such as my Mum, but it is worth the effort and we just took our time. We saw a lot of wheelchair users managing too

The little road train provides a cheap and convenient tour. However, it is very bumpy so I strongly recommend wearing a sports bra!

 

 

Our hotel was pretty much opposite the entrance to the Cite. Even if you just fancy a sit down over a cuppa or a glass of wine, I can recommend it Hotel du Chateau

There is a beautiful old cemetery just outside the Cite entrance. Worth a look if – like me – you like cemeteries

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Author: poshbirdy

Art deco/ art nouveau maniac enjoying a deep and meaningful relationship with alcohol

10 thoughts on “A Candle Lit in Carcassonne”

  1. Fabulous photos. The family who used to operate the little train had a kid in our kid’s class, so we rode it a lot–every school trip to la Cité.
    I agree on walking aids. My parents had a tough time with the cobblestones, though when they came they needed only canes.
    Savor the time with your mother. It goes by too fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a perfect week it sounds. I miss my Mum so much, I often think of how I would love her to come and stay with us here in France, of all the places we would go and all thing things I would show her. We used to love exploring new places together and we too could sit and talk for hours, I loved hearing all of her childhood stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely end to the precious time spent with your Mum. I love to visit Carcassonne cité out of season – it seems more magical without so many people milling around. Have you ever been to one of the concerts they hold there in the Summer? It’s such a wonderful setting – as long as it doesn’t rain. I have never taken the little train ride but thanks for the tip about the sports bra – that made me laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think last year was the first time I didn’t go as, try as I might, I didn’t really fancy anything on offer. That said, even if it’s somebody or something you like just a little bit, it’s a great experience. I think Bryan Ferry was my favourite one.

        Liked by 1 person

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