Left Sarlat and headed for Carcassone today. But first, we stopped along the way to have our picnic lunch on a barge while meandering on the Canal du Midi.
The couple who ran the barge were great characters – he was German, she was from the Netherlands. He was a lot like Captain Ron and accepted many glasses of wine from Ted.
We ate mega-sandwich that we made yesterday and generally had a great time meandering down the canal. Beautiful trip…
Our Hot Bus Driver – Olivier. All the ladies want to take him home, oh yes.
Opening the canal lock
France is beautiful.
Ted, our Cruise Director, keeping the wine flowing as usual.
Boneless Rabbit got a little sea sick on the barge cruise and had to be carried off by Ted.
Back on bus and we headed into Medieval Carcassone – a really cool 13th century walled fortress which is unfortunately wall-to-wall tourists and the tacky tourist traps to match. This is where they filmed Robin Hood Prince of Thieves with Kevin Costner. I looked but didn’t find him. Drat.
The group took a walk, more like ran the gauntlet, of the inner old city. Personnaly, I felt the need to make lots of Monty Python references and Boneless Rabbit played the part of the Killer Bunny of Caerbannog. She should get an oscar. If only we’d had some fake blood.
Bring out your dead!
Cool Basilica St. Nazaire – I love gargoyles. Wonder if we can get some on our house…
We split up and scouted out a restaurant for dinner. I had done some prep-work to find some good eats and made my case for Auberge des Lices, a little place hidden down a quiet lane. It was away from the tourist traps and had that awesome Basilica as a backdrop to the peaceful courtyard.
That evening Marolyn, Bob, Betsy, Ted, and I had a fantastic classical Languedoc (this region) French meal. Entrees included this fresh asparagus mousse which all the others had and I tasted. I shouldn’t have been so afraid of asparagus which I usually hate – because the flavor was nothing like I’ve ever tasted before. I had a salad that was ok but nothing like theirs.
For the main course we all ordered classic Cassoulet de Languedoc. It was thick and rich, with complex meaty flavors, lots of beans and delicious fat. I pushed aside the big hunks of pork fat but mopped up every other morsel with fresh rolls. Ah…
I added an extra cheese course of fresh goat cheese with honey. This is a treat not to be missed. Such a great combination of flavors. Have I told you how much I love fromage de chèvre? I have to figure out how to bring some home.
Finally for dessert we got different things – several of us had a strawberry construction – fresh framboise on top of a flaky crown of phyllo surrounded by a heavenly strawberry syrup concoction and accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I wanted to roll in it, absorb it, lick the plate. Ted and Bob had chocolate cappuccino with sponge cake and ice cream. All this was accompanied by some local Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
The whole meal – an over 3 hour affair – for all 5 of us including extra tip and taxes came to 150€. What a great deal.
We missed the evening tour with the group but were very happy with our meal so we just meandered out through the old city and back to the hotel and bed.