Thursday, April 12, 2007

Carcassonne

2 weeks later and I still haven’t finished posting photos from our Carcassonne trip.

Carcassonne, a superbly preserved medieval city, is unfortunately overrun by tourists, both in the peak and off-peak season. Despite having planned our trip in the off-peak season, while pleasantly peaceful when night fell, Carcassonne’s tiny cobble stoned alleys were uncomfortably crammed with lively members of tour groups.

After all the build-up of Carcassonne (me and my medieval obsession), I was a little disappointed, especially after having been to “unpreserved and completely au-naturel” Cordes-sur-Ciel. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Carcassonne but it just seemed a little too…clean. It seemed like someone had gone through Carcassonne with a shiny-stick and put all the unwieldy cobblestones and bricks back into place. It almost reminded me of a reconstructed Disney village of sorts.

Despite this, I still loved looking at the cité from afar. We were lucky enough to find a little oasis of a hotel with a fantastic view from its terrace.

The other problem with visiting very touristy places is finding a decent place to eat. In a labyrinth of tiny alleyways and groups of slow-moving tourists browsing the expensive contents of shop windows, it can be hard to find a decent restaurant that doesn’t exploit the average client by serving mediocre food at elevated prices.

Browsing off the beaten-path (only slightly as there are no unbeaten paths in the cité!), we stumbled across the Adélaïde. With a respectably priced menu offering something other than cassoulet (it’s the region’s signature dish), orange walls (my favourite colour!), a charming, friendly (gasp!) and unnaturally efficient (gasp again!) waiter, and a deliciously decadent pear crumble, we ended up going back there twice during our stay.


So, if you’re ever in Carcassonne, fight the tourists and take in the sights then reward yourself with a delectably buttery pear crumble at the Adélaïde

Adélaïde
5 r Adélaïde de Toulouse, CARCASSONNE

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