Snow capped summer

The Pyrenees viewed from Carcassonne

The Pyrenees viewed from Carcassonne

American humorist author Mark Twain once wrote that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. He apparently never made it to Carcassonne in August. We’ve been in the City by the Bay shivering in the fog with only short sleeve shirts and shorts and know exactly what he was talking about. What we didn’t know however was that we’d have the same experience here in the south of France and we’re not complaining at all.

One of the factors that influenced our decision to make this move was the weather. Atlanta is hot in the summer, it’s been over 100 degrees F (38 C) there too often to count, and cold enough in the winter to keep our birdbath water solid for a long time. In contrast, the historical averages in Carcassonne make it much more temperate, still experiencing four definite seasons but without extremes. Of course averages have their drawbacks. Years ago I was riding a passenger train with friend and sister-in-law Pam through the midwest US where our feet were freezing and our heads burning up. The conductor explained that the thermostat was set to an ambient temperature that accounted for the average between the floor and ceiling. So much for statistics.

We also have the wind here, more often than not, and sometimes very strong. Several of the real estate websites for this area promote “300 days of sunshine!” as an enticement to move here. When we first told that to some longtime residents of Carcassonne they just laughed and agreed with that sunny statement but said that the housing agents neglected to mention that there are an equal number of windy days. These new friends went on to say that in the summer we would appreciate the cooling breezes allowing us to leave the windows open and making home air conditioning a rarity. Considering that at this time of year I start out the morning in jeans and a sweatshirt and finish the day in shorts and a t-shirt, I’d say that they’re right!

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About Bob

While living in North, Central and South America, in the middle of the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, and now in Europe, my passion has remained the same: travel and meeting new friends.

Posted on August 31, 2016, in Life in France and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I think the weather is great. In July, there were a few days where it stayed hot at night and it was hard to sleep. But nice cool nights + hot days = perfect summer. We went to the beach (Narbonne) yesterday and it was fantastic.

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  2. Couldn’t help but laugh while I’m sitting here in my sweatshirt and yoga pants waiting for the day to warm up so I can throw on my shorts and take off the sweatshirt! Since we moved here I have spent every August in Spain hiking and had no idea that it could get so cold here in the mornings! But I am not complaining, I LOVE the weather here!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful picture Bob!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “But, on the average you are comfortable!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Quite different than the Charente, then, where it has been extremely hot (27-40) for all of July and August so far except yesterday, when it dropped to 24! We had a miserable, rainy spring so apparently the weather gods have now been appeased.

    We’re actually thinking of moving down your way, so I’m enjoying reading your posts immensely!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I moved to Seattle, my regional office was in San Francisco. Imagine my surprise when I went to a meeting in July, dressed for a nice Seattle summer day, and just about froze to death!

    Liked by 1 person

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