Monday, May 18, 2020

Blue Skies in the South of France

After nine weeks of quarantine followed by a week of rain, today dawned with a fierce blue sky and balmy temperatures.
Our daughter Grace and her husband Jack arrived three days before quarantine and we were already social distancing, so they have not seen much of France.
On Saturday, I dragged Grace along with me to pick up the chairs we purchased in Carcassonne. The rain had passed and we drove up to "La cité" which is the castle that hovers above the city.
And, of course, Jack felt like he had missed out. So today, we returned to let Jack experience the castle.
Although the ramparts aren't open, the rest of the castle and the shops within are. 
Very few people were wandering around the castle, so we got to enjoy feeling like we were back in Medieval times.

What's up with this sculpture? It's breasts are way off. 

Grace and Jack wander ahead of us through the city gates. 

We ventured inside the basilica and lit a candle for the world. 

The doors to the church are giant, as you can see from a comparison of me to the door.
 Notice the homemade mask I'm wearing

Grace and Jack removed their masks for this picture. 
We had some ice cream and sat on a concrete step to eat it, offering bites to a mottled cat who refused both bites of raspberry sorbet and hazelnut. A little sparrow, however, gratefully accepted bits of my ice cream cone.
The shops that are open are being very careful, insisting on hand sanitizer and plastic gloves for anyone entering.
We purchased an iron bell with an Occitan cross on it that Earl installed next to our front door when we got home.
And we also bought a few castle-related gifts for our nephews. We are trying to support local businesses, even if it isn't much.
Afterward we drove down to the "modern" city of Carcassonne and walked around. We got take out from a kebab restaurant and ate it in the Square Gambetta, until Grace accidentally gave food to pigeons and we had to abandon our park bench. Not really, but we did give her a hard time about the gathering, until a little boy on a scooter zoomed by, scattering the pigeons.
We have discovered that the simplest outings are exhausting these days.
I think it's going to take some time to get used to going out again. 


Jackie McGuinness said...

AHHH was there a year ago. Was on my bucket list for years.

Masks being worn here. Some stores opening tomorrow, but with strict rules.

Marg said...

Le sigh.....I want to get to Carcassonne one day.

Kiwi said...

"For Carcassonne is moving, beyond a doubt; and the traveller who in the course of a little tour in France may have felt himself urged, in melancholy moments, to say that on the whole the disappointments are as numerous as the satisfactions, must admit that there can be nothing better than this."
Henry James

If you and your family have not already seen it, you may enjoy reading about Henry James' experience travelling around France in 1882:

Just Me said...

Nice !

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