Carcassonne with Casey and Megan: La Cité De Carcassonne, Château de Montségur, Mirepoix

“I thought to see fair Carcassonne, that lovely city—Carcassonne!” ~ Gustave Nadaud

Our return flight from Rome to Marseille via Ryanair went as smoothly as the initial flight.  However we did have some concerns since the French rail strike was still going on. But our train was one of the 60% still scheduled and running. At the “moment of truth” the train arrived and we had our assigned seats waiting for us with no overcrowding. All in all we had been extremely lucky working around the national rail strike.

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We enjoyed the trip west along the Mediterranean coast and made it back to our current home in Carcassonne.

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We took a day to hike to the top of Château de Montségur is a former fortress located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Carcassonne near the Pyrénées mountains and the Spanish border. The ruins are the site of a razed stronghold of the Cathars. The fortress is referred to as one of the “Cathar castles” that gave shelter to Cathars during the Albigensian Crusades.

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We also visited the nearby village of Mirepoix which has a substantial medieval ambience.

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Casey and Megan were finally able to catch up on some much-needed rest in Carcassonne and enjoy the vacation part of their trip. And Casey discovered Ricard pastis as a traditional summer-time French beverage. At the end of their stay (with the rail strike finally over) Casey and Megan took the train back to Paris for a two-night stay with tickets for a day at Disneyland-Paris. Knowing he is a big fan of Mickey, it was our birthday present to him.

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We waited until the last possible minute to warn them that there was talk of an air-traffic controller strike. Our silence paid off as at the last-minute the strike was culled down to only 10% of planes and limited to those going to other European countries. The kids made it to the airport and their British Airways flight without suffering through any more of France’s transportation worker strikes.

All in all it was a fantastic visit. We enjoyed meeting Megan and seeing Casey. We were overjoyed to finally being able to congratulate him in person for his university completion. The kids followed up their visit with a nice long Skype date so that we could meet their daughter, Izzy. The best thank you ever!


Part 1:  Paris with Casey and Megan: Notre Dame, Palace of Versaille, Eiffel Tower, Love Locks, and the Louvre

Part 2:  Marseille with Casey and Megan:  Train Strike, Chateau d’If, Vieux-Port, Phare de Sainte Marie, and Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde

Part 3:  Rome with Casey and Megan:  RyanAir, Pantheon, Colesseum, Roman Forum, and Trevi Fountain

Part 4:  Vatican City with Casey and Megan:  Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, Necropolis Tour, Saint Peter’s Basilica, and Saint Peter’s Square

Part 5:  Carcassonne with Casey and Megan: La Cité De Carcassonne, Château de Montségur, Mirepoix

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