Friday, February 4, 2011

The Carcassonne Way

Stress and worry is a good way to avoid living in the moment. I’ve decided to try my best to cut those two very annoying things out of my life. I like being happy, and I will do whatever I need to do to stay that way. Now, my life isn’t perfect, but those imperfections are what make it mine. I’m not rolling in money, not spending mad amounts on designer fits, not even close, but I could care less. I love my life and I’m so glad I’ve realised how good it is, and how your state of mind is the deciding factor.

I love this time of year; we pick everything up and leave for 3 to 4 months, to get away from the rain and snow to train. It’s becoming habitual and every year I look forward to another adventure. With never spending more than a year in one spot for the past 6 years, it’s easier to make a place feel like home and for now, Carcassonne is that place. We have a cute, quaint apartment, with a fantastic view of the medieval city aka: giant castle. It is enormous by every standard. Will thinks it looks like his childhood fantasy of the perfect Lego-land castle, but it reminds me of any Disney movie with a princess *sighs*. To make it stand out even more than it already does, the castle is lit up every night. It’s pretty breath taking. I’m not sure how much electricity it takes to light that place up, but it’s most likely the reason our heating is so shoddy. It can get to 12 degrees in the apartment, but it’s oh so worth it for that shiny, sparkling castle.

Other then the obviously distracting Castle, Carcassonne has much more to offer. I could really get used to the giant vegetable/fruit markets, bakeries and butcher shops. There is also a big Muslim population in Carcassonne and I’m pretty sure they put on the extensive Saturday market. It has a number of different beautiful textile stands, clothing, jewellery, household items and nick-knacks. All of Carcassonne comes together for these markets and it’s the perfect day to shop and people watch. You can see the old French women forcing their way through the crowds and budging in line, rambling off in French. They’re just doing what they have to do to collect their supplies for the week. It’s all about the food and a big part of the culture. Just a couple of weeks ago we were invited to dinner by a cyclist named Jean-Marc. We met him on a group ride and he could speak about as much English as we could speak French, but that’s all we needed. The dinner was a very unique experience and such a treat. We had fois gras, duck breast, potatoes, apples, and an endive and Roquefort salad. The best part was that we spoke French the whole night, discussing local farms in the area and traditional foods of the region. We drank a delicious beverage; Blanquette (like Champagne) which also had quite the rich history in the area. It was fun and a very educational. If only we could do that every night, we’d be fluent in no time. Well, slowly but surly we’ll learn, and we simply must because only a rare few speak English in Carcassonne. Good times.

We walk over this pedestrian bridge almost everyday to get into town
Sitting on that very bridge
Our street

AT over for a short visit before Qatar
Enjoying a delicious crepe dinner


  1. What a beautiful place! Does anyone live in the castle? Perhaps a princess?

  2. I loved your stories of French life. I have shown Emma and Sophie your castle and I will get them to read your blog. Hopefully inspire them to travel to France!!

  3. Oh thanks! I'll have to keep writing then!

  4. What a awsome looking place keep living the dream and keep us updated with pics and stories