Monthly Archives: June 2016

We’re getting a facelift

One of the many buildings getting a facelift

One of the many buildings getting a facelift

After over 700 years we could probably all use a bit of refreshing to our faces and that’s exactly what’s happening in Carcassonne this summer. The façades that we’re talking about here are for many of the buildings located inside what used to be the walled lower city laid out in 1260. According to the city’s tourist office, few structures survived the fire of 1355 but there are many examples of mansions, shops, and apartments from the 17th and 18th centuries when the textile industry rivaled only the King for power, that today are getting some help. Read the rest of this entry

Trip to India

Air freshener

Air freshener

We’ve always cooked outdoors: from balconies in Chicago, LA, and Philadelphia to backyards in suburban Atlanta. From the hottest summer days on record in the southern US to the coldest, snowiest winter nights in Pennsylvania’s Pocono mountains, Bill (usually) has been out there grilling, stir frying, broiling, and barbecuing. One evening while he was roasting a duck out on our back deck a black bear was unable to resist coming up for a closer smell. When they locked eyes on each other both bear and Bill screamed and ran in opposite directions. Seems that cooking outdoors not only keeps the heat and smells out of your house but also the wild animals! Read the rest of this entry

It’s a celebration!

Walking around the castle

Walking around the castle

It was 30 years ago today that Bill and I met for the first time. I had flown down from Chicago to Dallas to help a friend staff his booth at a street fair. Bill, who lived in Dallas, had walked over to check out all of the festivities and to see someone who had a booth there. No surprises here; we had a mutual friend without knowing it and, if you’ve been reading this blog, you can probably guess what product he was selling—travel. Our world adventures started from day one. Read the rest of this entry

No pain from pain

Bread festival poster from the city's website

Bread festival poster from the city’s website

If you read the blog yesterday you’ll know that we got sidetracked on our way to visit a bunch of boulangeries just outside of town. While the ink was still drying, so to speak, on that article, we spent a good part of the day at the park in front of Carcassonne’s train station totally surrounded by boulangers (bakers) and all of their work. It was time for the annual Fête du Pain that we might otherwise call the Bread Festival. Read the rest of this entry

Temptations

Baguette in a backpack

Baguette in a backpack

Last Wednesday we rode the bus for 15 minutes to one of the zones commerciales on the outskirts of Carcassonne. These are the shopping areas with lots of big box stores and parking lots that just won’t fit on the narrow streets in town laid out almost 900 years ago. But what we were in search of would fit (sort of, as you see in the photo) inside our backpacks: bread. Read the rest of this entry

Starry, starry nights…and days

La Barbacane Restaurant inside the hotel

La Barbacane Restaurant inside the hotel

June has always been a festive month for us because it’s when Bill’s birthday happens as well as our anniversary. This year is especially significant as someone reaches that certain age to start collecting Social Security benefits and I’ll post later about our plans of how we’ll mark 30 years together. Carcassonne boasts 3 restaurants that have earned Michelin stars for their quality of food and service, 2 of them within easy walking distance, so what better way to enjoy this month’s special events than by visiting those two? Read the rest of this entry

Water for water

Water engine building

Water engine building

Here’s a picture of a building that we pass by at least twice a day but only recently discovered its real purpose. We figured that it was a mill since it sits just downstream from what used to be the King’s mills and it has an opening at the bottom that lets the water flow through the building. Since a tree is now growing out of that opening, it’s obviously not in operation, but its original sign is still in place and readable: Moteurs des Fontaines de la Cité, 1893. It’s a giant water pump! Read the rest of this entry

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