Apparently a zoo of tourists by day, Carcassonne, France is a fortified medieval walled city and we found it in the dark with no one out but the cats keeping watch. Rick Steves describes La Cite’ (the old city) as a “13th century world of towers, turrets, and cobblestones.” Strategically shouldered against the Pyrenees mountains, Carcassonne is a UNESCO World Heritage site and doesn’t disappoint, if you can get to it...
We almost missed visiting Versailles. Our already full vacation itinerary had so many places cut from the first draft that we’d still be there had we stuck with the original plan. Versailles wasn’t part of it and it was only tacked on to the end of our stay as an afterthought. In talking with other travelers however, we found that visiting Paris without visiting Versailles is like skipping Big Ben in London because you’re already wearing a watch. The Palace of Versailles, the Gardens of Versailles, the Hall of Mirrors and the Grand Trianon, are all magnificently French and very Parisian things to see while in the City of Lights.
Returning from Spain a day early because of the continued uncertainty of the train strike, we wanted closer access to Charles de Gaulle Airport for the final morning of our return flight home. I wasn’t initially sold on the hype of the guidebooks but this single change of plans gave us a bonus day to fall in love with Versailles. I didn’t know any better.