Monthly Archives: June 2016

Fresh attitude

Fountain of fruits and vegetables

Fountain of fruits and vegetables

For three days every week, the main square in Carcassonne is filled with vendors of fresh fruits and vegetables. There are farmers who grow the produce in fields just outside the city alongside business people who buy whatever is in season a few miles away or even further south into Spain and bring it to sell on Place Carnot. It was only appropriate, therefore, that this was the location for last Saturday’s Fraîch’ Attitude Fruits and Vegetables Festival.


Read the rest of this entry

What’s down there?

Hidden steps down to the basement

Hidden steps down to the basement

Bill’s a curious guy and I mean that nicely. You do have to be careful here in French with some descriptors because your “inquisitive” friend might just be “odd” depending on where you place the noun and adjective. The house we’ve rented has plentiful and almost instant hot water and no apparent place to hide a huge tank or even a compact on-demand gas heater. Bill had been wondering about it since our arrival and finally asked the landlord where it was and her response was to simply point downwards. Ah ha, we have a basement and some place new to explore! Read the rest of this entry

Cour or cœur?

A gated courtyard in Carcassonne

A gated courtyard in Carcassonne

Carcassonne is certainly not lacking in grand examples of beauty: the tree-lined Canal-du-Midi that allows the Atlantic Ocean to connect with the Mediterranean Sea, the River Aude with its source buried deep within the Pyrenees Mountains, and of course the city’s iconic medieval fortress. Sharing the spotlight with those monumental sites are tiny courtyards, safe havens from the winds of winter and the summer sun, hidden all over the city. I have long wanted to live in a home built around an interior courtyard so that each room could benefit from the sun and breezes. It looks like we just got our chance. Read the rest of this entry

Sailing, sailing

Canal-du-Midi lock and basin in Carcassonne

Canal du Midi lock and basin in Carcassonne

Having grown up on the East coast of the US, I was not unaccustomed to seeing giant sailing boats whenever there would be a summertime festival. It seems that every major harbor from Maine to Florida has a sail-in of some kind every year to showcase these magnificent ships. To keep the tradition alive there are sailing schools in many of those same harbors, including one run by the US Navy, where young women and men train for weeks to rig the sails and navigate these giant vessels through treacherous waters. We live near the Canal du Midi where they do exactly the same thing, minus the sails, of course. Read the rest of this entry

Trial run

Preview of the Tour de France poster from the city's website

Preview of the Tour de France poster from the city’s website

Next month, the Tour de France will be zipping through Carcassonne. In fact, race fans, Stage 11 of this cycling extravaganza will start here the morning of July 13 as the 22 teams of nine riders each set off on that day’s goal city of Montpellier on the Mediterranean Sea, about 100 miles away. As if that event itself won’t be celebration enough, our town had a Tour Festival this Saturday in preparation. Read the rest of this entry

Buy this, not that

Tea time?

Tea time?

There’s a series of books devoted to what you should eat instead of something else. There’s the original version, one for kids, for eating at restaurants, for supermarket shopping, for 350-calorie meals, for drinks…. The idea is that when you’re faced with a food choice there’s usually a high calorie, high fat option and a much healthier selection. On one of Carcassonne’s main shopping streets is a gourmet grocery store where those choices are amazing. Read the rest of this entry

I’d walk a mile

Wine or sliced meat?

Wine or sliced meat?

Years ago there was an advertising campaign about walking a mile for a particular product except that today for us it was a mile and a half each way. Ah, what we do for free delivery! To do that, as you might expect, it would have to do with either food or drink. From the photo of the box it looks as if it could be both. Read the rest of this entry

A new life in Lille

Tales of a Brit who moved to northern France

Southern Fried French

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France


Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

Chez Loulou

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for between leg shavings

Post-Industrial Eating

Just another weblog

An Italian Point Of View

Alan and Tracy's Expat Adventures