Carcassonne, France Day 33

Did you know that when they say “sheets included” in the hostel, the sheets aren’t fabric, they’re paper? A strong, fibrous, disposable paper, but still, PAPER? They don’t feel the best against your skin. And I slept in a bunk bed for the past 2 nights. Adults are not meant to sleep in bunk beds, trust me! And the wifi simply doesn’t work here. And when you ask why, you get a half-assed answer that it *should* work. Well, no sh*t, it SHOULD work! Thankfully there’s a restaurant where I had the bad sausage at last night that I can hover around randomly and get their signal and check email etc. I actually went there for lunch as well today and had a Croque Monsieur that was really good and updated the blog. To be honest, the sausage wasn’t really that bad, I just thought it was a funny status update for FB. It’s a regional specialty called a Toulouse sausage. I also had a salad to start that had duck gizzard on it. YUM! Not…
So, Carcassonne is a town within a town. There is the city of Carcassonne, then there is the medieval walled city of Carcassonne within Carcassonne the town. I’m staying within the medieval city walls in the hostel. The walled town is super small, so most of the hotels are very expensive, but my own room in the hostel? 33 euro! The thing is, once you’ve walked around the town 200 times, there really isn’t anything to do. There are lots of restaurants and little shops, but it really caters to tourists, and that doesn’t appeal to me that much, despite the fact that yes, I am also a tourist!  I was happy to spend a good couple of hours in the castle and museum, then walked around the outside walls of the rampart and had a 2 hour nap before dinner. And sadly, dinner consisted of a Nutella crepe and a bag of chips. I just didn’t feel like a big dinner. I had a big lunch, and there aren’t really a lot of little places where you can just get something small, so crepe it was, and it was good!
I’ve always been fascinated by the middle ages. Castles and the feudal system and serdom… I remember really enjoying that part of Social Studies, no matter how boring Mr. Philipson made it. The main purpose of this fortress was to protect the French border, since back in the day Carcassonne bordered Spain. In the mid 1600’s when the Roussillon region became part of France, the fortress fell into disrepair because its’ protection was no longer needed. In the mid 1800’s it was restored by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc to the state it would have looked like in the 13th century. I (again) have to keep reminding myself that these structures haven’t been built just for our amusement. In this day and age of modern technology and the luxuries we all take for granted, it’s hard to understand that real people lived and died on this very land, and to think of the barbarianism, death and destruction is unimaginable. When I’m walking around the grounds, I can almost picture the warriors and the damsels and the peasants walking around living their lives 13th century style… it really is history coming to life. So incredible! So, big thumbs up for Carcassonne, it didn’t disappoint! FYI, if you ever do come here, one day is all that is needed to explore the walled city, it is wee!
It is WINDY in Carcassonne. Apparently all the time! Anyone who knows me knows I hate the wind. I don’t know what it is, it just makes me angry!
The museum in the castle had a beautiful array of artifacts and statues.
The cathedral in town.
Love the gargoyles…
Love the sexy supermodel knight! I’m too sexy for my sword…
 
Night shot.

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2 Responses to Carcassonne, France Day 33

  1. Michele May 9, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    I hate the wind, too! This post made me laugh, Andrea. 33 euros is a great price, in spite of the paper sheets (so weird).

  2. Andrea May 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    I don’t know… real sheets might be worth spending an extra 10 euro for! Ha!

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