Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Gentlemen Take Polaroids?

Early Morn, Villa 'Les Rosiers', Aude, Languedoc.

{Post title is a vague reference to a track by 'Japan' in case you're trying to make a connection.}


Well, that's the final holiday of the year over and the sad return to cold, damp, rainy Scotland happened on Sunday afternoon. We had a great week of good weather in the Languedoc, with temperatures in the high twenties and low thirties each day apart from the last couple before we flew back. In some ways this actually helped us prepare for coming back to the weather that we heard was covering Scotland in rain and windy conditions.




It was great to be back in the Languedoc again. It's an area we've been to a couple of times now and always felt completely at home there, so much so that we have looked at buying a house in the area (should the finances ever allow) at sometime in the future. For now though we have to make do with renting a holiday home, which this time was in the village of Trauss, just to the north of Carcassonne. The house is owned by a British couple, one of two gites attached to their own house, which they bought when they moved to live in France permanently four years ago. {lucky people}









The house was lovely. A typically French affair with shuttered windows, open beams and exposed stone walls, well kitted out with all mod cons and comfortable furniture. Having a nice pool was a definite bonus, despite advice that it would probably be too cold to go swimming as the temperatures now were a lot cooler than the summer temperatures of a few weeks ago. Of course with temperatures at 30 degrees, hotter than the normal Scottish summer, that advice was largely ignored and I was often grateful to have a cooling dip after a long day out on a hot day, especially if that day had involved a long drive or hoof up a mountain to explore a castle or two.

Lastours







Distant Queribus





We spent our time returning to old haunts, exploring new ones and finding those wonderful, unexpectedly amazing restaurants you sometimes find in the farthest corner of the smallest village. We had some amazing meals at bargain prices and certainly didn't lose any weight while we were there, despite doing plenty of walking. We walked through picturesque villages, drove mountain roads covered in fallen chestnuts whose spiny shells carpeted the road as far as you could see. We were amazed by the incredible colours of autumn that were beginning to come to the fore despite the heat and were mesmerised throughout one unforgettable drive through the montaigne noir which lay close behind the village we were living in.



Minerve

Alet les Bains




We spent time in the World Heritage site of Carcassonne old city with its incredible mediaeval walls and soaring towers, glad that the crush of summer tourists had gone leaving space for everyone and time to take photographs undisturbed. We spent the final night of our holiday in a hotel in the old city and I had the amazing buzz of being able to drive through the narrowest streets to get to our hotel at six p.m. when the curfew on cars was lifted, something I've repeated again in the early hours of Sunday morning when we left to go to the airport. An absolutely unforgettable experience.

One of the entrances to La Citie, Carcassonne.

There's always a cat!

or two!

Although the week didn't seem to go too quickly it was over far too soon and it did rekindle our love affair with the area and make us determined to come back more regularly in the future, to explore the area even more thoroughly and perhaps to look further afield at some of the other areas around the Languedoc too.

Cloudy day, Rennes le Chateau 

La Tour Magdala

See you later.

Listening to.

16 comments:

Morning's Minion said...

So very different from any place I have ever been [that's the US, Canada, Mexico!] Your photos and words give me something to imagine.

coastkid said...

I like the ruins, and those dusty trails off the hills look fun to cycle, welcome back to the overcast and grey UK!, though we still have some autumn gold scenes to look forward to!

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

I can only say, without any trace of envy;
LUCKY BASTARD.

Oh well, when I'm drinking a large G & T with lemons from my garden, lying in my lounger on my deck, under the gorgeous NZ summer sun (about 2 months away), after the All Blacks have won the RWC®, you'll probably be saying the same. I do fancy Languedoc, AND Bordeaux, AND Le Loire, AND Paris, and even Tuscany (yes, I know it's in Italy, but it's still gorgeous). Bit better than Girvan, or even Millport.

Alistair said...

MM - it's a magical place for us, very ancient and full of history and great photo opportunities.

CK - Great cycling country there with incredible tiny mountain roads, vinyard tracks and hillside trails. Not sure I'd want to do it in that heat though.

TSB - Yes - you're lucky too - and hell yeah!

IndigoWrath said...

Smashing pictures, Alistair! Tho I couldn't help a Pythonesque chuckle.

"Queribus!"
"Queribus!"
"Queribus!"
"It's only a model"

Alistair said...

Very good Indigo!

jono said...

Superb photographs Al!

Alistair said...

Cheers matey!

Jane said...

Welcome back! I'm jealous.... that's all....

Alistair said...

Jane - you should go. Ryanair fly Prestwick - Carcassonne direct........

I'm just about tempting you aren't I?

dbs said...

*jealous face* + *pouting face*

Alistair said...

'Didn't set out to make you feel that way but still slightly smug face'.

cheers.

Rebecca S. said...

What a great post, full of a generous amount of photos, too. It looks like you and L.G. had a wonderful time - I love those castles and narrow little cobbled lanes.
Have you ever heard of the board game called Carcassonne?
Lovely song, too. Thanks for sharing it.

Alistair said...

Aye - I've seen the game but not played it. Glad you liked the snaps and the song Rebecca.

Antares Cryptos said...

It looks exactly like the place one ought to visit.
Thank you for taking us on a photographic tour.

Alistair said...

Happy to oblige, AC......

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