I am at the Hotel Montmorency in Carcassone, just beneath the outer walls, and am being driven mqd by q Europeqn keyboqrd:
We arrived CDG from ATL on Thursday - about 10 min early - on AF. Plane was a 777. Flight was uneventful. We had 100 min to make the connection to Bordeaux.
We were offloaded onto shuttle buses and taken to Terminal 2E. We had been assured by AF that there were shuttle buses between 2E and 2F so that we would not have to go through Immigration.
The reality was that we were herded up stairs and along windowless corridors until we were lined up at Immigration. Upon being summoned to the booth, we were then given a yellow form to fill out.
About 1 in 5 of us had pens.
One person who tried to get a form and then go back in line to fill it out was never seen again.
After being admitted onto French soil, we headed for 2F. Here is where we entered the Security Zone. Ten min later, a nice security person told us that there was no line at the entrance around the corner.
Off we ran - because we now had 10 min to make our connection - to find a somewhat longer line. (I'll bet the kids at Security had a real chuckle.)
With 3 min to go, I ran to the exit gate hoping that if I got there in time they would hold the plqne for my wife.
Thirty five min later, we boarded the plane to BOD.
We picked up a car, ordered through AutoEurope-UK, from Europcar. It is a Peugeot 307 1.6 L Diesel 4 dr with 5 speeds forward.
All of the gears are clearly marked. There are no hidden buttons, rings, switches, etc to get into reverse.
Car is very peppy. You can go as slow as 50 kph in fifth on flat road and still accelerate. We are getting about 17 k/l.
Despite all of my preplanning and maps and directions from Europcar, we got lost trying to find the "rocade" from the airport.
We did eventuqlly find the road and got to the Chateau de Roques.
This is a 16th Cent building (+/- 100 yrs for different parts) restored and operated by Joseph and Geraldine.
Our room (no 16, in the back of the central part) faced the vineyards. We had a very pleasant stay.
There is no AC, but it was cool at night. Also the stone walls are over 2 ft thick, and that helps to keep out the heat.
We visited Arcachon, by the Atlantic Ocean, St Emilion, and Bordeaux.
Dinner at the Hotel was quite good.
Dinner at L'Envers du Decor was even better.
Dinner at Le Belvedere was superb.
Drove down from Bordeaux to Narbonne Plage to see the Mediterranean - perfect weather -about 32°C, sunny and breezy - had lunch and drove to Carcassonne.
It was hot, dry and windy. Stayed in the hotel until about 7:15 before walking around the town. Had a glass of wine at several different places and dinner at L'Arbre de Vie.
My Lady Wife thinks that Carcassonne is very touristy. I keep telling her that it has been that way for over 800 years and that that means that it is a true, not a touristy, experience.
She does accept that it is not as tacky as Narbonne Plage.
Have a good day, all.
I shall check in when I can.
Ira Does France
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