Carcassonne, France – Day 1

I recently returned from an 18 day trip to France and thought I’d post a few photos of some of the places I’d visited while there, the first being ‘Carcassonne’.

Carcassonne is in southern France’s Languedoc area and is a beautiful example of a fortified medieval town.

Okay, I’d better get a few details out of the way first, so here goes:

We flew out on Wednesday, 19th April with Ryanair from the UK’s East Midlands (EMA) airport to Frances’ Carcassonne (CCF) airport, and despite their bad reputation, everything went smoothly and we actually arrived ahead of schedule.

The flight takes approximately 2 hours, which meant we were in Carcassonne for 10:00am local time.

By the time we collected our luggage, cleared customs, got a taxi, and waited for the hotel car to pick us up from outside the ramparts, it was around 11:50 before we got to our hotel.   As we couldn’t check-in until 4 pm, we dropped our luggage at reception and went out exploring.

The basic cost of our flight, one way, was £44.86 for the two of us.   If you were just going for a night or two you’d not need to pay for checked luggage as you get 10 kg of hand luggage each included in the cost of your flight, we were going to be away for 18 nights so needed a suitcase each.   So on top of the £44.86, we had the cost of x2 checked luggage, x2 priority boarding and x2 fast track, making the final total for our flight, one way:  £103.86 for the two of us.  Obviously, it’s not necessary to have priority boarding or fast track but it certainly made the trip easier and less stressful.

My friend Amanda is in the photo above, she’s looking directly at the camera.  I’ve known Amanda for over 25 years and knew she was the perfect travelling companion for this sort of adventure.

The holiday quickly became known as the Thelma & Louise trip. You’ll be sad to learn there was no murdering, dramatic driving off cliffs or dalliances with Brad Pitt.

Amanda, thankfully, has a far better grasp of the French language than myself. My limited French is seriously poor, and this despite me doing an online course for a couple of months prior to us travelling. So money well-spent there haha.

Best Western Hôtel Le Donjon

Our hotel for the evening was the Best Western Hôtel Le Donjon, Carcassonne. It lies  within the old city walls and cost us €135 for a standard twin room for the night in mid-April 2017.

We stayed in the main building on the first floor, overlooking the pretty gardens at the back of the hotel. The room was comfortable and clean, with a wonderful view which added to the experience.

To get to the hotel we took a taxi from tiny Carcassonne airport, although it is possible to get a shuttle straight to the gates of the old town for around €5.

Our taxi driver, without being prompted, rang ahead to inform the hotel that we were on our way. The cost was about €18. He dropped us outside the city walls at a designated spot (only permitted vehicles are allowed within the city walls) where the hotel sent a car for us and took us directly to the hotel. The process went perfectly and I’d highly recommend this hotel as a base for a night or two.

The hotel does have a private carpark but we didn’t have need of it as we didn’t collect our hire car until the day we checked out.

On the morning of our departure from the Best Western, we asked the hotel reception if they could organise a taxi to take us to Enterprise car hire at the airport. The hotel’s guy picked us up and dropped us outside the ramparts of the old town at the same place we’d been dropped off by our original taxi driver. We didn’t have long to wait before the same taxi driver arrived.  We were at Enterprise car rental within 10-15 minutes.

Best Western Hôtel Le Donjon via Bookings.com:

https://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/bestwesternledonjon.en-gb.html?aid=311076;label=hotel-202248-fr

The car hire was probably the most expensive part of the trip, costing over €1000 for 17 days.  This was mainly due to us leaving the booking of it to the last minute.  It was compounded by the fact we wanted an automatic, that there was 2 of us going to be driving, taking out the maximum amount of insurance cover and needing to drop off the vehicle at a different location….Bergerac airport.

We were very happy with the car.  We were given a Toyota Auris Hybrid and couldn’t believe how economical it was.  We traveled over 2,500 km and only put about €120 worth of fuel in the car.

A big thanks to Amanda for letting me use some of her photos in this blog post.  Between us we got a few good shots.

 

Christmas Part II – Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany 2016.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016

I got back from my trip to Füssen and Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany late Tuesday night and thought I’d do a couple of quick posts before I procrastinate and never get around to sharing.  If you’re ever looking for somewhere to spend a few days, whatever the time of year, both places are beautiful and well worth a visit.

This post is Part II of my Christmas experience in Germany and looks solely at Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a beautiful Bavarian medieval town on the famous Romantic Road.  It’s not going to be wordy just a few snaps taken from my time there. Hope you enjoy them and if you have any questions, please ask, hopefully, I’ll be able to help.  Thank you and season greetings.  Adele. x

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016

Rothenburg 2016

Rothenburg 2016

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016 This is the beginning of the Christmas market. It winds through further streets and into buildings behind the main square. The Rothenburg Christmas Market “Reiterlesmarkt,” named after a local Teutonic legend, which began during pre-Christian times as the story of a horrid rider who carried the souls of the dead. As Christianity swept through Europe, the figure developed from a wild man into a loving, gentle man who gave gifts to all people on earth.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016
Rothenburg Christmas market in the Market Square. It winds through further streets and buildings behind the main square selling small gifts, orniments, hot food and lots of mulled wine.
The Rothenburg Christmas Market “Reiterlesmarkt,” named after a local Teutonic legend, which began during pre-Christian times as the story of a horrid rider who carried the souls of the dead. As Christianity swept through Europe, the figure developed from a wild man into a loving, gentle man who gave gifts to all people on earth.

 

 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. Hotel Eisenhut, Entrance and Reception Area. The hotel is in a great location, right beside the Christmas Market. The shared spaces are beautiful but the room we had was very dated. The room was clean and large but the overall appearance was a letdown. I would still recommend Hotel Eisenhut despite our room.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
Hotel Eisenhut, Entrance and Reception Area.
The hotel is in a great location, right beside the Christmas Market.
The shared spaces are beautiful but the room we had was very dated.
The room was clean and large but the overall appearance was a letdown.
I would still recommend Hotel Eisenhut despite our room.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016 This was our hotel for 2 nights, Hotel Eisenhut.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016
This was our hotel for 2 nights, Hotel Eisenhut.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
Rothenburg is truly beautiful, everywhere you look you’ll see cobbled streets, brightly coloured medieval buildings and quaint shops geared towards the many tourists that visit this wonderful place each year. I personally didn’t go for the shopping but mainly to soak up the Christmasy atmosphere in one of Europes prettiest and best preserved medieval towns.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. We'd been lead to believe that Rothenburg would be mobbed with visitors but we found it to be fairly quiet, with no queues in the shops and the restaurants being virtually empty. Maybe it's the recession or we just happened to fall lucky.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
We’d be lead to believe that Rothenburg would be mobbed with visitors but we found it to be fairly quiet, with no queues in the shops and the restaurants being virtually empty. Maybe it’s the recession or maybe we just happened to fall lucky, either way, I highly recommend visiting this town on the famous Romantic Road.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. The walls of Rothenburg.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
The walls of Rothenburg.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. The walls of Rothenburg.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
The walls of Rothenburg.

My favourite Brätwurst was the wild boar sold at stalls in the Christmas market. We spent most of our time eating and drinking. The mulled wine was a firm favourite, making us all feel very festive and warming us during the cold winters days and nights.

My favourite Brätwurst was the wild boar sold at stalls in the Christmas market.
We spent most of our time eating and drinking. The mulled wine was a firm favourite, making us all feel very festive and warming us during the cold winters days and nights.

Pretty Christmas decorations are everywhere.

Pretty Christmas decorations are everywhere.

Treat yourself in the many gift shops, stalls, coffee shops and restaurants.

Treat yourself in the many gift shops, stalls, coffee shops and restaurants.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.

When the tourists leave and the mist descends, Rothenburg feels completely different but equally as special.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. It's getting late here and the mist thickens. I can't help but think of Whitechapel, London and Jack the Ripper when I look at this photo.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
It’s getting late here and the mist thickens.
I can’t help but think of Whitechapel, London and Jack the Ripper when I look at this photo.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. The empty streets and mist gives the town a completely different feel.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
The empty streets and mist gives the town a completely different feel.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. There's hardly anyone around by 9 pm and then the mist begins to descend.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
There’s hardly anyone around by 9 pm and then the mist begins to descend.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. Rothenburg becomes eerily quiet when the shops close and the mist starts to blanket the town.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
Rothenburg becomes eerily quiet when the shops close and the mist starts to blanket the town.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. The walls are deserted at night. The mist gives the place a really creepy feel but we loved it.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
The walls are deserted at night. The mist gives the place a really creepy feel but we loved it.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. There's still a bit of life outside this hotel and in the adjoining walled beer garden.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
There’s still a bit of life outside this hotel and in the adjoining walled beer garden.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. Very few people were on the streets after 9 pm but this hotel and bar seemed to be buzzing.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
Very few people were on the streets after 9 pm but this hotel and bar seemed to be buzzing.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. The streets are virtually empty of people by 10 pm.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
The streets are virtually empty of people by 9 pm.

 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. The streets begin to empty just in time for the mist to cover the streets.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
The streets begin to empty just in time for the mist to cover the streets.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. The streets begin to empty.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
The streets begin to empty.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. Beautiful cobbled streets of Rothenburg.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
Beautiful cobbled streets of Rothenburg.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. On the walls, it's deathly quiet and scary but we loved it.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
On the walls, it’s deathly quiet and scary but we loved it.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. Our hotel as the mist begins to descend.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
Our hotel as the mist begins to descend.

We got up on our last day and went out for a walk and to watch the sunrise from the battlements.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. Beautiful morning sunrise on the last day of our trip.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
Beautiful morning sunrise on the last day of our trip.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. Sunrise from the battlements.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
Sunrise from the battlements.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. Sunrise from the battlements.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.
Sunrise from the battlements.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Adele x

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Seasons Greetings
Adele

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