Friday, October 2, 2009

Carcassonne

After Bordeaux, we caught the train to Carcassonne. Carcassonne is a small town in south-western France that is built around an old castle. What makes this town interesting is that the castle was rebuilt in the later 19th century and romanticized. This is apparently a point of contention for history buffs, but the town is amazing none the less. We found a dirt cheap room in a hotel, after hunting all over the city for it. This guide book Alexia got for her birthday has been amazing, but so far it has listed a few things in the wrong spots. We popped into a bank and asked for directions. Soon, we had the entire staff of the bank circled around us either helping out or enjoying the spectacle. Time and time again, the French have proved to be amazingly helpful people.

We finally made our way to the hotel and dropped our bags and took off for the castle which was about a 20 minute walk away. We arrived through the main gates of the castle and began exploring all the little shops. The castle was teeming with everything ranging from touristy restaurants, to high end hotels, and stores with local specialties in them. We were once again on a hunt for a restaurant out of the book but couldn't find it, so we explored, looking for another restaurant along the way.

Alexia's nose led us to the place where we ate our dinner. We were walking by and she immediately stopped and declared that we were eating there. The restaurant's name, translated into English, was The House of Cassoulet, and they only had one thing on the menu. We went in and ordered their set menu and a bottle of local wine. The food was amazing. For those of you who have never had cassoulet, it is a white bean stew that is cooked with duck confit and pork sausage. It's about one of the tastiest things you will ever eat, and this place did it to perfection. We have their recipe and will try and replicate it when we get home.

The next morning, we walked back to the castle and looked around a bit more before we hopped on our next train out of town.

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