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Lots of thyme

Village of Aragon, France

When our neighbors suggested that they pick us up on Sunday to take a trip to Aragon, instantly visions of courtly love, chivalry, and Camelot sprang to mind. After all, it was Catherine of Aragon who was King Henry VIII’s first queen and in her eyes maintained that position despite the rise and fall of others after her. While our destination shared that Queen’s name, we were only traveling about 20 minutes north of Carcassonne instead of 2 hours south into Spain where the Kingdom of Aragon was located and to where Catherine could trace her family roots. Read the rest of this entry

Secret road trip

Sally helps owner Patrick tally up our wine purchases

We don’t have a car and I can honestly say that after having had a driver’s license for nearly 50 years, and an automobile to go with it for most of that time, I don’t miss it at all. That probably goes double for Bill who’s typically been the one behind the wheel. The costs alone including substantial monthly lease or purchase payments, license fees, insurance, fuel, and upkeep are enough to make us grateful that we no longer have to budget for any of that. Add in the hassles of navigating narrow Medieval streets laid out 800 years ago, trying to avoid solid stone buildings inches from you on one side of the street and rearview mirrors sticking out from parked cars on the other plus attempting to squeeze into a pocket-sized parking spot, should you be lucky enough to find that, and the advantage of being on foot becomes even more apparent. Having said all of that, the instant that a friend with wheels invites us on a day trip outside of the city, we’re on it! Read the rest of this entry

Well…Albi

Huge brick cathedral of Albi

Huge brick cathedral of Albi

We had the pleasure of hosting two of Bill’s sisters and one niece on a part of their visit to France and Spain. It was a celebration of Jenny’s passing the first stage of her studies to becoming a sommelier, a specialist in selecting and serving wine, either on its on or pairing it with food. What better place to come than the world’s largest wine producing area to try out those newly-acquired skills? Read the rest of this entry

Trip to Trèbes

Trebes from the Canal-du-Midi

Trèbes viewed from the Canal-du-Midi

As the crow flies, it’s only about 7 kilometers (4.4 miles) to Trèbes which is the next town east of Carcassonne along the Canal-du-Midi. The driving distance is 10 kilometers that you can cover in around 13 minutes. According to our local tourist authority’s booklet Walks: Nature and Heritage if you follow the towpath along the canal you can get there in 2 and ½ hours on foot. Since we have chosen to live without a car and our avid-hiking friends, Gaynor and Pete were with us, you can guess how we got there. Read the rest of this entry

Your train is a bus

Bus at stationWe love trains, so much so that over the years many of our European vacations were planned around train schedules and where we could find a station. Once we had settled on France as the country to where we’d be moving, we then had to choose a city or town and one item that was on the must-have list for any final choice was a train station. So then, why do you see a picture of a bus here? Read the rest of this entry

La trek tou-louse

Capitol building in Toulouse

Capitol building in Toulouse

For those of you who missed my lame attempt at clever wordplay with this post’s title, recently we went to the city of Toulouse, about an hour away. Actually, the artist Toulouse Lautrec is more associated with the town of Albi, where we’ve already visited the wonderful museum of his works, but his namesake city of 500,000 people has megashopping. Ah, there’s the real reason we went. Read the rest of this entry

Feels like home

Medieval village of Camon. France city walls

Medieval village of Camon, France city walls

If you’ve read the posts over the past few weeks you’ll know that we made a lot of day excursions by car on this most recent trip to Carcassonne. Although we won’t have a car once we move, we did this time because the original plan was to use what has now become our new home town as a base to explore the area to find a place to live. Surprising what you find in your own backyard, so to speak. Read the rest of this entry

Renestance

French Retirement Dream

A year in Périgord

The life of a British Francophile

Southern Fried French

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

wcs

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 meaning...in between leg shavings

Post-Industrial Eating

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An Italian Point Of View

Alan and Tracy's Expat Adventures