Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Carcassonne, Or, Quatorze Bouteille de Vin

My plan today was to see Carcassonne, the second-most visited city in France (according to at least two people I know). I had skipped around the enchanted cité on my way to La Muse, but today I was eager and ready, with a plan of attack.

After an exhilarating (read "gripping") drive down the serpentine one-and-a-half-lane mountain road, my first stop was at Leader Price in the outskirts, to stock up on kitchen staples. As it was my première French supermarket experience, I decided to take my time and see everything. And to go easy on the produce, meats, and cheeses, preferring to save myself for the better goods in the local village shops.

Two hours later, I emerged with four brimming bags of groceries--three of them stuffed with bottles of wine (I counted fourteen bottles in all when I got home). Huzzah!

I ate a quick lunch, then let loose at Cultura, an art, book, and music store, where I splurged on a beautiful fountain pen and a bottle of livid turquoise ink that reminded me of absinthe. I also made off with a pretty blue box of pastels and a stack of lovely textured papers.

Eager to break out my new art (and drinking) supplies, I flew back to Labastide, happening to catch a distant view of La Cité along the way:

I'm getting closer...