Thursday, April 13, 2017

Unique but it Can Be Crowded

There is no question about it. Carcassonne is an amazing place to visit and staying within the walls of the medieval city is a thrill.
But there is a down side.
Starting at about 8:00 in the morning tourists flock in. The walk up the hill in a steady flow, huffing and puffing but eager to experience this unique place.
The streets are packed, even in April. I can't imagine what it must be like in August.
There are very few places to stay within the wells. We booked very early and managed to get a room at the Hotel Le Dongon but there isn't much else. The down side to staying within the walls is that you are held hostage to the 15 Euro buffet breakfast simply because there is no option. The restaurants within the walls, and there are many of them, don't open much before lunch.
The One Table sits in the Point of the Triangular Space Allotted
Most open spaces have several restaurants competing for a place to put their tables outside in the sun. They are so cramped together and until you figure it out, it can be difficult to determine where one ends and another begins. You can easily read the posted menu, sit down only to find that you are actually seated in another restaurant altogether.
To help sort it out lines have been painted on the cobblestones staking out territories.
The Cite is full of places catering to kids, selling wooden swords, crossbows and fake metal helmets. Kids chase each other through the throngs brandishing swords. Shelley almost got shot by a crossbow wielding eight years old yesterday.
The crowds don't diminish until late then in the early morning lane sized street sweepers clean the cite up, the restaurants are replenished early before the throng returns and then everything opens and they do it all again

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