June 20, 2014 – Nice – Carcassonne.
From my journal:
Awake at 6:00. Our train was supposed to depart at 7:25. Last night we went to the train station before dinner and printed our tickets. Apparently there is a train strike of some sort that is causing random delays and cancellations. A staff person told us our train would leave at 7:36 instead. This morning we were told it was cancelled, and to get aboard a train for Paris that would stop in Marseilles. Immediately. (7:30).
Stops: Cannes, Les Arcs-Draguignan, Toulon.
Marseilles: deboarded and immediately boarded our connection at the platform, 10:20.
Stops: Nîmes (11:25), Montpelier (11:49), Sète (12:09), Béziers (12:34), Narbonne (12:55), arr. Carcassonne, 1:30.
Took Petit Bus to the Cíte, which was the culmination of all of Laura’s hopes and dreams for our stay in France. Carcassonne was fantastic. Our hostel was right in the middle of the town, just down from the chateau gate.
Checked in, then walked the town, per R. Steves. We saw the entry to the Chateau but decided not to go in. But when we saw the ramparts by the Narbonne Gate & talked to the attendant there, we changed our minds, went back and toured it and the ramparts. Good decision! Excellent view of the town, and information about its history, excavation, and restoration.
We laid down on our beds. I slept well, Laura not at all. We ate at a kebab place, foregoing the nicer Italian and French cuisine offered at more expensive places in town.
We walked up and down some of the roads south of The Narbonne Gate – Chemin de Anglais and Chemin de Ourtets. Saw the cemetery (closed). Walked up Via Medievale and found an olive orchard/farm. But we did not find the the outer view of the city we were looking for. Walked back through the Narbonne Gate and the city to the Port D’Ande at the rear. Down a cobbled path/ramp to the streets below, then to the Pont Vieux.
Went across the river for nightfall. Then went back across the bridge The view was fantastic, though I couldn’t get a decent photo. We took an easier way back, by a street around the the north side the Narbonne Gate. Lovely.
“I promised you magic.”