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Carcassone Castle is probably most famous (in the US) for being the subject of a board game.  When I found out that it was a real place AND it was on our route, I knew we had to make a stop there.  We arrived in town late at night but we could see the castle turrets lit up from miles away.  We parked outside and went through the drawbridge to walk around the medieval village within the castle walls. Since was low-season there weren’t many tourists around.  It was too dark and cold to really see anything though so we went back to the room where we were staying and saved further exploration until the next morning.

When we went back, I was practically bouncing off the walls with excitement.  I’ve never seen a real castle that looked so much like a fantasy/fairy tale castle.  If you have ever seen the Excalibur hotel in Las Vegas, Carcassonne kind of looks like a real version of that.  The heavy storm clouds, light rain, and virtual lack of tourists only added to the atmosphere.  We spent a few hours climbing the ramparts, exploring the inner castle and village, and running between the castle walls before we walked back through the (now heavily pouring) rain.

The rest of our brief time in France was mostly uneventful.  We drove through Aix-en-Provence and had a quick stop for lunch.  It turned out to be way bigger and more developed than we expected but it might deserve another chance on a future trip.  We arrived in Nice, where we dropping the car off, late at night.  The only nearby restaurant that was still open was McDonalds (which are surprisingly nice in Europe).  We ordered some beers (which had the Monopoly piece stickers on them) and some food and went to bed.   The next morning, we dropped the car off at the train station, took a train across the Italian border to Ventimiglia, enjoyed the beautiful views of Montecarlo on the way, then changed trains 5 times (!!!) to get to our first Italian stop: Alba.

  • Carcassonne Panorama
  • Carcassonne in the Mist
  • Carcassonne HDR
  • Carcassonne HDR
  • Carcassonne HDR
  • Carcassonne Walls
  • Castle Tree
  • Knight's Tomb
  • Carcassonne Gate
  • Carcassonne Between the Walls
  • Carcassonne Walls
  • I Can't Believe They Named a City After A Board Game!
  • McBeer
  • Carcassonne Cassoulet

Posted: July 22, 2013

Author: Adam and Amanda

Category: Blog, Continents, Europe, France

  1. Cathy says:

    Where did you guys go for 6 months? It was a long time from the last post about La Rioja. I thought you guys had already stopped traveling and went back to the hum drum of a life like most other people live. I’m so happy you are still traveling and posting pictures and comments of the places you are visiting. I so want to do what you are both doing. I’m just not brave enough, nor adventurous enough. BTW, I just got pack from a trip in Greece and your pictures and experience were so much better than mine! I missed you. Looking forward to your next post!

    • Adam and Amanda says:

      Hi Cathy, Thanks so much for the note. It made us really happy. We’ve fallen behind a bit on the posts but there are still a lot more to come. Brief spoiler: we worked our way to London, lived and worked there for a few months, then made our way back to the SF Bay Area where we’re starting our next chapter. Believe it or not we’re actually really enjoying having a bit of a routine back in our lives!

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