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Trilogy: a sailing saga in three parts
Carcasonne
Ros Brice
04/16/2012, Carcassonne,France

Garth and Ros headed northwest from Perpignan to visit the old walled city, La Cite, of medieval Carcassonne. In spite of icy winds, rain and hail at times, fresh from the Pyrenees, we thoroughly enjoyed this UNESCO restored site. Inhabited from ancient times, the city played an important role in the south of France in the 12th century. Besieged for seven years by the crusaders and eventual surrender, the city was annexed to the royal domain in 1226 and was further fortified. In the 19th century the architect Viollet-le-Duc restored the city and this magnificent effort allowed world heritage site listing in 1997. Viollet-le-Duc who also designed Notre Dame, designed the Basilique St-Nazaire south of the Chateau, with the same beautiful stained glass rose design windows. It is a picturesque town for so many reasons and well worth a visit.

Touring France
Carcasonne
Ros Brice
04/16/2012, Carcassonne,France

Cite Mediaeval in the rain, hail and wind

Touring France
Carcasonne
Ros Brice
04/16/2012, Carcassonne,France

Looking into Carcassonne from the Chateau Comtail

Touring France
Carcasonne
Ros Brice
04/16/2012, Carcassonne,France

Choccie Heaven

Touring France
Perpignan
Myra Rowling
04/16/2012, Perpignan, France

Our time in Perpignan has been a pleasure. It is a very pretty town, with a thousand years of recorded history. The Catalan museum, in the 13th century castle's old three-storey-high gates, told a story of repeated conquest by French, Spanish and Majorcans, but continuing fiery independence. All signs are in both French and Catalan. We witnessed President Sarkozy campaigning in Perpignan, emerging to the cheers and boos of the local population assembled outside the beautiful Prefecture building on the canal surrounded by garden beds of spring flowers and old plane trees. Despite the change to windy and cold weather - the Tremontane gusting up to 70 knots in the Golfe du Lion - Perpignan was still lovely. Ancient winding lanes, modern and beautiful shops in ancient stone buildings, and at the top of the old town, the castle built for the Majorcan kings starting in 1297. It is an amazing fortification - the star shaped fort with moat and hugely thick walls - surrounding a magnificent castle with a throne room, a great hall, the king's and queen's separate chambers, the king's and queen's separate chapels with Moorish/Spanish decoration, an amazingly huge kitchen under the great hall and a huge underground cistern and grain silos under the inner court yard. But sadly the moules for lunch were sold out! We settled for Catalan anchovies and roquefort salad.

Touring France
Perpignan
Myra Rowling
04/16/2012, Perpignan, France

Castle of the Majorcan kings, 1297

Touring France

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