City EscapesEuropean motorhome Travel- VanlifeFrance


Paloma, our motorhome is now on the slow road going North, with our new “Job” starting late Feb we have turned around and headed back into the land of ‘Le Camping Car’, excellent bread and Supermarkets that make you drool…..

Today we are parked on the fabulous aire a mere 20 minutes walk to one of the worlds best kept city’s.(N 43.200130, E 2.353110).

The city dates back to BC times. The fortified castle contains 53 towers and barbicans. In 1849 it was decided that the castle should be preserved as a national monument and it was added to the UNESCO world heritage list of sites in 1997.

You can see the walled city for miles around. Its approach from below, after walking along the beautiful riverside side path from the aire, it is just such an amazing sight.

Yes folks were in Carcasonne, France.

I’m sure not many of us in the 21st century have had the privilege to see a “real” medieval castle and better still enter it over a drawbridge…..

And better still on a chilly December afternoon, no tourists, I’m sure the place is still WoW in the summer months with millions of others, but when you’ve got this pretty much to yourselves it’s really is special, almost magical…..

One of the mythical stories about this place is to do with the naming of the city. The story goes that during one of the many sieges on Carcassonne, the people inside created a ruse to fool the attackers.

Because Carcassonne had so many attacks it was believed the inhabitants of the place might be suffering from lack of supplies, Knowing they were at great risk, “Dame Carcas,” grabbed a healthy pig  stuffed its belly full with food, then threw it over the wall as a “present” to the enemy.

On receiving such a well-nourished pig , the charging army retreated, assuming the entire population inside the walled fortress was well-fed and ready to defend their city.

Hence “Carcassonne” is derived from “Dame Carcas.” Her image can be found on a city gate.

With the weather a little on the chilly side, once back at Paloma we set about knocking up a pan of warm Vin Chaud ….

I’ve got to say it was still a bit of a shock to wake up to, frozen windows and a hard frost …

Guess Winter is here…..


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  • Trudie

    You lucky things! I’ve always wanted to go there – perhaps one day ….

    • Shellthecobbler

      It was magical, guess it might be a little overrun in the summer ….

  • Jean Barnett

    Enjoy reading your post, we are hoping to visiting Carcasonne in early March after Spain x


    • Shellthecobbler

      It’s a lovely place, well worth the stop over, enjoy your time in Spain – paul and shell x


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