3. Mar, 2020

Text

TUESDAY 3-3-20

Last night I finally managed to get internet connection, though this was by using  my old 3G MiFi unit and another fresh SIM card. We have yet to sort The Chef out. If we haven't succeeded by the time we get to Benicassim then we'll get somebody to sort the problem for us there.

This morning we were able to enjoy a nice hot shower, though not before I repositioned the vehicle as we had spent the night on a slope and the waste water would have needed to flow uphill to reach the grey water tank at the rear.

Once we were scrubbed and fed and The Chef had bought today's baguette from the petrol station we set off the short distance to Carcassonne. Thankfully the motorhome designated car park (GPS: N43.20534º E2.37189º) was still available to us and had plenty of space. The maximum parking charge was twenty Euros for a twelve hour period and overnight between 22:00 & 08:00 was free. We were pretty sure we could complete our visit in the day and be back on the road again later spending tonight at another Truckstop.

The city of Carcassonne which has been inhabited since ancient times, was protected against the Late Roman Empire by a Gallo-Roman wall. Despite these fortifications the city has been occupied on several occasions.

The Trencavels were one of the most powerful families in the south of France during the 12th century. Pope Innocent III launched a crusade against the Cathar heretics. The besieged Carcassonne surrendered on 15th August 1209. In 1226 the Viscount of Carcassonne was attached to the royal estate and the town became the capital of the royal administration. The city then took the form of the fortress that can be seen today.

The modern part of the city is located outside of the walls, and close by the Canal du Midi, which I believe is the canal which joins the English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea, and on which boating folk often make the trip to the Med.

The Camperstop was very conveniently located for the entrance to the city, which has narrow streets stuffed with the usual gift shops and eateries. The Chef even spotted an establishment selling fish & chips.

As for Carcassonne itself it was a bit like the opposite of Dr Who's Tardis, in that it looked big from the outside but didn't seem all that big inside. We paid for two tickets at €9.50 which entitled us to view the chateau and ramparts which killed a couple of hours before it started to rain, which was perfect timing.

The Chef wanted a couple of bits and we needed some bottled water. There's no doubt about it tea and coffee tastes better made with it, so we made our way back to the car park, paid our parking fee of €6.50, then drove to the local Carrefour supermarket which fortunately also sold cheap fuel which was most welcomed after paying toll road prices.

Then it was lunch in their car park before hitting the road again. Within half an hour or so the heavens opened and we had the heaviest rain we have encountered so far, though fortunately this time without the strong winds. It was so heavy I had to put my fog lights on because of the spray. Never mind, we soldiered on and are now parked up about forty miles north of Barcelona, and are now being rewarded with a bit of warmth and some lovely sunshine.

Tomorrow we will make our way to a campsite next to the sea from where we will journey in to Barcelona city over a couple of days I'm guessing. I think when we arrive there tomorrow we will begin to feel that the 'holiday' has started and we can get in to our stride, as the work element of the trip, that is in getting down here will be behind us.