[personal profile] luis_mw
(No, that isn't a shout-out for our local satellite TV provider, or John Williams' erstwhile band - merely a sort of translation of our next destination)

Eventually, though, we had to stagger out into the daylight again and continue our journey, onwards to Cordes sur Ciel...

Cordes sur Ciel (or just plain Cordes until 1993) is a small fortified town built on a rocky hill above the river Cérou. We were visiting in the evening, so missed the sight of the village rising above the clouds in the valley (the source of the “sur ciel (above the sky)” part of the name). However, despite the best efforts of the French road signage failing to tell us where to go, we eventually found it with sufficient daylight to appreciate the view. Of course, being a small town, we found we had gone past it in no time at all, so had to turn back and find somewhere to park at the base of the hill. This was just fine because we needed to be facing that direction anyway, in order to head down to Carcassonne.

It was but a few minutes walk to the bottom of a narrow street that rose, rather alarmingly from the point of view of my unfit self, between quaint houses and shops to the market at the top. The town dates from the 13th century and, thanks to its fortifications, survived much of the destruction that went on during the later centuries. Thus, there are plenty of older buildings to appreciate. This also gave me plenty of excuses to stop and catch my breath on the pretext of taking pictures. After many winding turns and a couple of gateways, we found ourselves at the top, by the old market square.

We were too late for the Museum of Sugar, but there were a couple of shops still open. We didn’t want to shop so early in our trip, but did obtain some biscuit-like items that would serve as breakfast in the morning (having decided not to opt for the over-priced hotel breakfasts). After some wandering around, we picked one of the restaurants that had tables in the covered market. We both opted for the duck cassoulet, which was very enjoyable (and I got extra meat because [livejournal.com profile] silme had to fish the pork sausage bits out of hers). A glass of wine was a suitable accompaniment (and a small one at that, since I had to drive after), as was a cheese-board selection after.

Lots of photos were taken, which can be see here...

By now, it was getting quite dark, so we made our way back down the hill (much less work than coming up it) back to the car. Back, then, towards Toulouse and onward to Carcassonne…
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