Day 29/112 Beautiful Southern France

Bonjour from Provence! We are now based at a beautiful apartment in Villelaure in the Provence region. It’s nice to have a “home” for a few days and live like a local.

We decided to stay an extra day on Sunday in Barcelona. We spent the day walking and enjoying the sunshine. We walked down La Rambla, along the waterfront and down to the beach. We enjoyed watching the cat and mouse game between the blanket salespeople (people who lay out fake branded handbags, sunglasses etc for tourists to buy – usually African with big smiles and not at all threatening – on blankets so that they can scoop up their wares quickly) and the local police. There are clear signs everywhere that you can incur a 50 euro fine for buying from them but the tourists still do. As soon as there are police approaching they grab their stuff and are off.

At the beach Loralei could not believe that women didn’t wear bikini tops … our kids are a bit sheltered!

In the afternoon we headed out in the harbour on an old pirate style ship – it was nice to do something relaxing after a full couple of days walking. I really enjoyed Barcelona, in particular learn in more about Gaudi and seeing his amazing work.

On Monday we drove to Carcasonne. On the way we stopped at the beach, on the French coastline where we drove right up to the beach through some country roads. We were surprised to see a number of Blokarts racing up and down the beach. Was quite a proud moment seeing a kiwi product!

When we arrived in Carcasonne, we found an apartment to stay in just below the old city. We could walk up to it in less than 10 minutes. This meant we could have a good explore in the evening with not too many people around. I’d always wanted to visit Carcasonne after playing the game with my siblings. It’s an amazing walled city with so much history dating back to the Romans but is only there thanks to the efforts of Carcasonne locals in the 1800s to save the ruins and reconstruct it.

Today we went back to do an audio guided tour. This allowed us to explore parts that you can’t otherwise get to.

We’d already booked our Airbnb so we couldn’t extend our Carcasonne stay – there looks to be a lot to do in that area. Grant has already added it to a must return list!

On arrival at our airbnb we were warmly welcomed by the owners who live next door. They had even put a really nice bottle of wine in the fridge. The girls are loving having a back yard to play in and cleaned up after dinner, such is the novelty of being in a house!

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