Friday, 29 April 2016

April Holiday, Day 9

This morning found us at Carcassonne. We needed to check out by noon, or pay another night's fees, so we were up betimes and after breakfast we went out for a walk to walk up to the Cité, which was horribly steep but well worth it, not least for a glimpse of the the snow-capped Pyrenees in the distance.


  The ramparts themselves date back to the Romans and beyond, but were extensively, although not authentically, restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19 th century.  It was good to get up there early, before the crowds, although there were already long queues outside the museum.  And, indeed, when we got back to the campsite, our neighbours were only just having breakfast! 
So we drove away down to Narbonne and then turned right towards Perpignan, a city which to me is a dream or a fantasy. When I was in what would now be called Year 8, we had to memorise a series of answers to various questions in French, one of which was "Où se trouve Perpignan ?". I forget what the only acceptable answer was, but the question has stuck with me.
We stopped for lunch by one of the big sea-lochs with which this part of the world abounds
and, unfortunately, when we actually arrived in Perpignan, I was rather too sleepy to enjoy it.  But I have been there, and it is real!
We are parked up for the night on a farm about 10 km out of the city, which is part of the France Passion network. Beautifully quiet, we are the only van here.

The owners were very friendly, and we appear to have bought some wine, but it is very good. They devote different sections of their vineyard to different grapes, and are very much small-scale producers.
Dinner was home-made; couscous with chicken and enough vegetable stew to do us again tomorrow, when we shall have it with merguez...mmm....

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