We’ve just returned from a lovely weekend in Narbonne. Narbonne is on the Mediterranean an hour from the Spanish border. It’s an interesting town with lots of Roman history, canals and great markets. When we arrived it was jam packed with families who had come for a music festival. On Friday we braved the crush to catch a glimpse of Fréro Delavego, famous for being on The Voice. The following night we stayed at home and just listened from the comfort of our beds to Gilbert Montagné, a blind chap singing songs that even we knew .
Saturday afternoon we visited the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress not far from Narbonne. In 1849 it was nearly demolished by the French government but a wave of protest saved it and in 1853 it was restored by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.
The walls of the fortified city of Carcassonne
It’s very impressive with two outer walls and 53 towers built over quite a long period. One section is Roman, notably different from the medieval walls with its red brick layers. One of the towers housed the Holy Inquisition, much feared in the 13th century.
Anne Marie and me in Carcassonne
Otherwise much of our time in Narbonne was spent on the beach, the sea being rather a novelty to us now that we live so far away from it.
Enjoying lunch on Narbonne Plage
On leaving Narbonne we went east to the Camargue, a vast empty area of reed beds and marshes. It was not quite as expected as the only white horses we saw were coralled and waiting patiently to go out trekking. However we did manage to see some flamingos.
…and more flamingos
The Camargue is also renowned for its fierce mosquitos but luckily we got away largely unscathed.
Then on to Avignon -
Avignon- Palais des Papes
and some lovely gardens
Many tourists visit Avignon to see the Palais des Papes and the ubiquitous Church of Notre Dame. And of course the Pont d’Avignon. We found a lovely campsite just opposite the bridge and a free ferry took us back and forth over the river.
Ferry across the Rhône
Le Pont d’Avignon
and as seen from our campsite
We’ll go to Avignon another time outwith the holiday period. We would like to see Orange and Arles, and Chris has always had the ambition to cycle Mont Ventoux. I will opt for following in the car!