Carcasonne and Limoux, France
The Fortress of Carcassonne
There are only 50 euros returning flight ticket from London to Carcassonne. Worth visiting it, not only for the cheap flight price but for its culture, cuisine and sports.
The place is known since neolithic era (between 10 200 - 2000 BC) especially because of its good place between Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. The first information of settlement in this area has been dated to around 3500 BC though.
The city was under Celtic, Roman and French occupation and the original spoken language here is Occitan - similar to Catalan dialect. As I listened to it, it sounds like something between French and Italian, with few German influences as well.
In front of the Hôtel de la Cité Carcassonne
The city is famous especially for the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress which was greatly restored in 1853 and became one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997. The forthress look amazing, there are good restaurants, shops, there is a hotel as well and believe or not, people are living inside the fortress.
It is known that around 80% of the economy in Carcassonne comes from tourism (first, from the fortress, then for the boat cruising on the Canal du Midi). There are also other economic activities as manufacturing shoes, rubber and textiles. The area is good for wine.
In front of the Fortress of Carcassonne
In terms of food, the traditional dish is duck and beans, they have an amazing cheese as well, good assortments of jam/marmalade.
After visiting, eating and resting, there is time for sports. Carcassonne is known for rugby.
Puig Aubert is the most notable rugby league player from the Carcassonne rugby club and he has a statue in the city which reminds to every citizen be proud of him.
Streets in Limoux :P
The small commune in France, near Carcassonne, is especially known for its Winter Festival called Fecas and referred in France as Carnaval de Limoux. Because the commune is small, all people join to the Carnaval, mingle themselves and enjoy during three months on the weekends between January and March and is conducted in Occitan, the area's traditional language. The festival is famous for its alternation of bands and pierrots. The pierrots are the stock characters of pantomime and Commedia dell'Arte whose origins are in the late seventeenth-century when the Italian troupe of actors used to perform in Paris as the Comédie-Italienne; the name of 'pierrot' is a hypocorism of Pierre (Peter) plus the suffix -ot. His character is that of the sad clown, yearning for love of Columbine, who usually breaks his heart and leaves him for Harlequin (another Commedia dell'Arte character).
It's amazing how do they eat: for breakfast I had to have an áperitif - which is an alcoholic drink, haha:)
In Limoux I have found the best ever wines. Indeed, the vineyard in Limoux is known for being first to produce sparkling wine known as Blanquette de Limoux, in 1531, by the monks at the abbey in Saint-Hilaire, Aude (wikipedia.com). The main grape of the wine is Mauzac, followed by Chardonnay and Chenin blanc. After you drink a wine from Limoux, you have a real clue how a good wine tastes. You definitely have to try in this life. In markets, you can find it with between 15 to 30 euros a bottle.
What else: if you want a real vacation of peace, Limoux is the perfect place. I have experienced the perfect silence there - you can sleep like a baby, no noise or disturbance during night and day. A very peaceful area. In autumn looks nice because of the coloured leafs which fell down from the trees but heard that in spring is even more beautiful.
N.B. Water is expensive here, so people make economy of it when using it for having bath :P
In Limoux I have been introduced with a very good photographer and I had a nice time during a photo shoot take there. His name is Olivier Bac and I very much encourage you to click his name and see his impressive work.
I will share only two pictures from the photo shoot as some of them were already published in my previous texts and some other will be used in my future posts as well.
Photo credit: Olivier Bac
Photo credit: Olivier Bac