Bill and I no longer give a definitive “no” when someone asks if we have anything planned for the weekend, or even for the next night, to be honest. Sure, there are weekly French classes or English/French conversation dinners regularly on the schedule, but happily, we never know when someone from the neighborhood is just going to drop by or when we’re going to get an invitation out of the blue from a chance meeting with friends at the market, bakery, or wine store. In our home in Atlanta, we built the theater and British pub with entertaining in mind but here, there’s just so much going on it’s hard to find the time to stay inside, and we’re not complaining. Take last weekend, for example….
It’s no secret that art is an important part of French culture so this country is a natural participant in the annual Les Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art (European Days of Art Professionals) that celebrates artists across the continent (many of whom make a living from their craft—imagine that) with exhibitions, demonstrations, and workshops that showcase their creations. In Carcassonne there were so many participants that they had to use locations in both the lower town and up in the walled fortress to accommodate everyone and we needed parts of 2 days to see everything.
At the same time, another annual event that we weren’t about to miss, the Chocolate Festival, took place not far from one of the art exhibits so it was easy to stop in there, but because of all the delicious temptations, not so easy to leave. There will be a blog post next week about that sumptuous visit just in time for Easter.
While we were in that same part of town, we popped in to the city’s Fine Arts Museum (free admittance) to view a temporary exhibit of paintings, drawings, engravings, and sculptures of French, Flemish, Italian, and German masters from the 12th to the 21st centuries.
Thanks to the Agenda (calendar of events) on the city’s official website http://www.carcassonne.org/ if we didn’t think that we already had enough to do, here were the additional choices:
- A professional tennis match with players from around the country
- The brioche festival (puffy French pastry with lots of butter and eggs)
- A film festival
- A mystery tour at the art museum, kind of like a live version of the board game “Clue”
- A pop music/dance concert
- An orchestra concert
- Two professional rugby matches plus a professional football (soccer) game
Those were all either sponsored by Carcassonne or had a connection with the city, so we didn’t even look to see what sort of private events we might attend.
But wait, there’s more: friends Sally and Larry invited us to join them on a day out for wine tasting and lunch (blog post to follow) that we gladly included in our fun-filled weekend. In this city of less than 50,000 people the activities just go on and on and we could not be happier!