A Day in Carcassonne

Written by Jenn

We spent Mother’s Day in Carcassonne, France. The day blessed us with the brilliance of the sky’s Mediterranean blues, as we awoke in our rented house in Montpellier. The children cooked me their special breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausages, setting the table in their special celebratory way.

After brunch we boarded our rental car and drove an hour and a half west to Carcassonne. Carcassonne is a famous fortified medieval city, complete with a castle in the centre and labelled as a World UNESCO Heritage Site. So far, it is the most beautifully restored fortified medieval city we’ve ever seen.

We drove past a beautiful landscape of vineyards, rolling hills, and spring blossomed trees. Wind turbines stood in attention to greet us as we zipped past on a smooth, clean (and very expensive) tolled highway. Historical abbeys, castles, and churches are normal fixtures to the eyes here in Southern France.

Inside the city, we wandered through narrow medieval streets full of the usual tourist shops and restaurants. The children examined the medieval paraphinalia of souvenirs, particularly the costumes and toy weapons. We wandered slowly inside the walled city, stopping briefly to admire the cathedral and castle, and purchase popsicles and a large bottle of water to cool off from the heat of the sun.

There were lots of things to make us pause and explore with our eyes. What really caught our children’s attention were the plastic bow and arrow toys being sold for 2.50 Euros. The price was right, and being that we were on our way home to Edmonton after Paris, Brian and I indulged them with a souvenir. We bought Susan, Peter, and Edmund bows and arrows, and Lucy got a small plastic princess. We probably spent an hour standing inside the outer fortified walls of the city to watch the kids launch their arrows in the air.

I love how Susan remarked excitedly, “Mama, I am like Susan from Narnia, Annabeth from Percy Jackson, and Katniss from the Hunger Games!” Can you tell she’s a reader?

We drove home to Montpellier as soon as the promise of evening changed the sky into muted orange hues. It was a lovely Mother’s Day in Carcassonne.

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