Carcassonne! I was here with the family all those years ago and it is even cooler than I remember! A very impressive, completely walled city that sits on a little hill. However, here is where the question of the day comes in How do you hide an entire walled city?!?! OK, it didn’t help that it was raining, rush-hour in the fairly large town/city that surrounds it, and I didn’t have a good map. Now to the other more interesting aspects of finding it—I had to come in a weird way due to lots of construction. That shouldn’t be too bad. However, you can’t drive in the medieval city—and they (the people who live there) all know where it is—so they don’t bother putting up obvious signs!!! And the City Center signs don’t lead you there, they take you to the surround city’s center—no where near and clogged with traffic. But lots of parking areas such that it looks like you are in the right neighborhood. Oh, and the buildings are all tall enough that once in the area, you can no longer even see the medieval city!!! Needless to say, there was much frustration and circling ;) I did finally get there (1 hour later—wanted to stop and ask for directions, but was stuck in traffic and no where to stop!). Turns out the signs say La Cité and evidentially you are supposed to know that that means the medieval part of town.
Argh. But, as I say, I did make it and it was great. The youth hostel is in the city and I have included a picture from outside the bedroom window! I wandered around town—walking the outside walls, for a couple hours taking many a picture and then finally ended up in the town square for dinner while writing post cards and petting a really cute kitty-cat. Then I went out again later with my tri-pod to try some night shots. Though getting ther was difficult, it was well worth it as a stop over on my travels south to Spain.