Monday, May 25, 2009

Au revoir France!

It doesn't seem possible that my trip is over and I leave for the States tomorrow. I am totally in love with this part of France and love my wonderful hosts Randy and JM who took me all over the place, cooked my meals, gave me all kinds of historical info and were both the nicest people you can meet. I will surely miss them, France and Shmoo! I am getting teary eyed just writing this post. I hope everyone enjoyed my pics as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Get together for English speaking guests

Yesterday JM and Randy had a get together for me and invited several English speaking guests! We had a great time visiting, but I did not take any pics! This post should be below the Carcassone post as the get together was Sunday night.


Well today we are off to Carcasssone, I found a nice website even with a little video here. You can see the rest of my pics here. Basically old Carcassone is a walled city with the castle overlooking the new Carcassone. People actually live in the walled city, there are lots of restaurants, shops, hotels, et. Wikipedia says this about Carcassone "

First signs of settlement in this region have been dated to about 3500 BC, but the hill site of Carsac – a Celtic place-name that has been retained at other sites in the south – became an important trading place in the 6th century BC. The Volcae Tectosages fortified the oppidum.

Carcassonne became strategically identified when Romans fortified the hilltop around 100 BC and eventually made it the colonia of Julia Carsaco, later Carcasum (the process of swapping consonant is a metathesis). The main part of the lower courses of the northern ramparts dates from Gallo-Roman times. In 462 the Romans officially ceded Septimania to the Visigothic king Theodoric II who had held Carcassonne since 453; he built more fortifications at Carcassonne, which was a frontier post on the northern marches: traces of them still stand. Theodoric is thought to have begun the predecessor of the basilica that is now dedicated to Saint Nazaire. In 508 the Visigoths successfully foiled attacks by the Frankish king Clovis. Saracens from Barcelona took Carcassonne in 725, but King Pippin the Younger drove them away in 759-60; though he took most of the south of France, he was unable to penetrate the impregnable fortress of Carcassonne."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Randy can do anything and a walk

I had a major computer problem regarding my LAN connection. Some setting had magically changed on its own, but Randy quickly went into places I did not know existed on the computer and it works again!!! We are staying in the village today, the market is here and also the fete is still going on all over France. I just returned from a long walk along the trail where the old railroad once was. The rest of the pics from the walk are here. Amazing that you can see all of this in just a few kilometres!

Port Vendre sur la cote vermeille

Most of the pics are online here. The first few pics are from various flowers I took on one of our walks through the gardens of Chalabre. Then there are a few of the fete in Chalabre. It is a 4 day holiday celebrating the Ascension. Then we headed to the Cote Vermeille which you can read about here. We passed beautiful scenery of the mountains and grape fields on the way, also going through the Gorge of St George. We arrived at the Cote Vermeille and found a nice little sidewalk cafe where we had a lovely lunch. We drove up the coast a bit and I snapped a few more pics, stopped at a nice wine stand where I had to taste several varieties of local wine to find one dry enough for my liking!! We then had a nice drive back and stopped where I could take a nice pics of the old walled village of Carcossane which you can read about here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lac de Montbelle and Chateau de Montsegur

To see the link to all my pics from today click here. We started the day with Randy and me doing a bit of village shopping, then off to Lac de Montbelle and then Chateau de Montsegr
r, up in the mountains. Here is more info on the lac and here is more on the Chateau. If you click a link you should get the page in English. Since lakes and mountains are my 2 favorite things I took a lot of pics. We had a picnic lunch in the mountains down from the Chateau. Then I attempted to hike a little bit towards the chateau but did not make it very far!! We will have fair dinner in the village tonight and hopefully to the Emerald Coast tomorrow. What a lovely place the south of France is!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Laid back day

Today was laid back stay in the village day. We began the day with a dog walk with Shmoo on the old railroad trail. Then got pics and blog caught up. Suddenly it was lunch time! After a superb meal of chicken and out of this world mac and cheese, it was time for another dog walk with JM and Shmoo, this time by the gardens and river. It was absolutely gorgeous today, so I sat out and read.
Then Randy and I did a little village shopping and checking out the progress of the village fair which starts tomorrow. I bought this darling chapeau that I am modeling. Its the only pic of the day. We'll have a nice dinner and then another dog walk and then some tv time and see what tomorrow brings. Oh, and I did introduce myself to several villagers in my Okie French. They acted like they understand me!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lourdes today!

Click here for the rest of my Lourdes pics on Smugmug.
It was a lovely but very long day. Lourdes is a very beautiful place with the river running through it. Shmoo went too and Randy and JM were great to take me there. I got water and lit a candle for my sister Cindy. If you would like to read more about Lourdes click here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm here!!!

Click here
here for the rest of the pics. One of my first blog pic is not from France, many of you will recognize my new friend I met at the airport in OKC. But now back to France! What wonderful hosts I have in Randy and JM!! I am exhausted but in awe of the beauty here. Today I started the day with a bakery visit with Randy. Then JM took me on a tour of the village. Then a quick trip to the market in Mirapoix, then back home for lunch, then a trip to a local winery for some grape juice. And I can drink wine tonight! My pics are finally here!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I leave tomorrow!

I'll try to update everyday. I may just have time for a quick summary and couple of pics, but I'll get all pics online when I get back.