France 2004 – Day 8-10 : A week without the Internet – OY

Well this will be long 🙂 I have been without the Internet for 1 week and it has been driving me Crazy.

When last I wrote I was in La Rochelle heading next to eat cheese to Rochefort. This would have been true had I 1) Spelled it correctly and 2) Had the correct one. More on that later.

I went south from La Rochelle to see a Chateau that didn’t exist instead there was a park commemorating where the castle was and where the put a nice little very non castle building. I did however see the very old Porte dr Blave de Bourge-sur-Gironge.

I did get to see the Chateau du Boulin and then in the middle of a rotary (traffic circle to the Americans) there was a giant wood Chair. HUGE.

I then photographed the bridge in Orthez and the Chateau Moncade on my way into the Pyrenees – and yes I survived driving the Pyrenees in a Twingo – it’s a type of car – look it up.

At the start of the Pyrenees I stayed in Suveterre de Bearn (in the car) where I saw the Chateau de Nays. I saw a really neat town called Navarrenx that had some great Ramparts and La Bastion des Contre-Mines that were very fun to explore.

I then went to Pau which was a crazy city and saw the Chateau de Pau from MANY angles but it was an Australian who gave me a great spot to shoot from.

The Pyrenees are big and the driving was very rough – up in the mountains I saw the Chateau de Foix and I should have stayed in that tourist town for the night but it was early and I went on.

I saw a sign for a hotel and went up this VERY steep mountain side on a road smaller than the car – when I got to the top I saw the outline of what I think is the ruins of the Chateau de Roquefixade I was in Laychert so it might have been – thankfully there was a much nicer road going down.

I did find a hotel in Lavelanet – though I’m told that room 4 is haunted – I was in 14 but still. Had some fun with some English guys – it was funny instead of ragging on me for being American they ended up harassing the inn-keeper for the French NOT getting in the war. I didn’t stick around.

I did get to the Chateau de Montesgur which was on top of a mountain and though it looked fun I was told it was at least an hours hike to the top – and I was tired. So I headed through the mountains till I found the Fountaine de Fontestorbes – a large spring coming out of the mountain leading to an underground river.

At the snack bar – everything has a snack bar- I picked up a butter and cheese sandwich and a postcard showing the roads and castles of the Cathar Pass region of the mountains. It was the Cathars – an offshoot of the Catholicism that had been chased into the mountains (by the Catholics) and there are a lot of their castles here.

I saw the Chatease de Puivert which wasn’t to hard to get to and was very nice – the wind in your face made you realize just how strong the winds get when you get that high up.

I later found out after I drove around this tiny little road with an edge straight down and the other solid mountain that I drove around the Gorges de Galamus (and that most people don’t take that road). Lovely though.

At the Chateau de Peryepertuse de Duilhac I twisted my knee – and I blame the church for it – kidding. I did twist my knee bad and I only saw half the castle which is really on the TIP of a mountain. The wind is what stopped me though not my knee – it really would have been unsafe to climb much higher and I really didn’t want to fall off.

At the Chateau de Queribus a Cucugnan I didn’t even try to go up – the winds were stronger and I was told it was even more perilous – don’t get me wrong I have great photos I just didn’t go inside.

Back on my list I stopped at the Fortresse de Sales de Chateau and I feel horribly guilty – see I found this access road that took me all around the fortress – and from this dirt road I saw the whole thing – yes I shot the entire fortress and never left the car 🙂

A little down the road I saw the Chateau de Fitou and slept in the car outside Beziers.

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]