One week ago we boarded the first leg of our winter trip – The South of France. Sacramento to Denver, Denver to Frankfort and finally Frankfort to Toulouse. It was a long day and I had many reservations about this trip. Intellectually it made sense but emotionally, it was full of unknowns. I hadn’t been to France in 40 years and though Paris was beautiful, Parisians were rude and difficult. I stayed a week and hightailed it to Italy for the rest of the summer.
People told me that outside of Paris the French were friendly but now we were about to find out the truth, We were taking a chance. Then too, we were going in Winter and although Southern France has a climate similar to our home in Sacramento, would we be happy with winter weather for sightseeing. Finally because we are visiting smaller cities, less rich in sifhts, we rented a car and plan to take day trips from our two home bases in Carcassonne and Sete. How are the French on the road? How formidble are the French roads and traffic? Can I manage a stick shift after all these years?
I’m happy to announce that France and the French are delightful. They express no annoyance at our limited French, They are helpful and pleasant. And they drive very soberly. We’ve been on the road several days of our trip including our arrival day in Toulouse, Despite my worries we traveled safely and easily to our hotel 30 miles away from the airport.
The weather has been cool- even nippy. Yesterday was our first sunny day but we still needed winter coats. The cities (old and new) of Carcassonne are unfolding each day. I can understand the raves about France. There is so much beauty here.
Today is our first road trip from Carcassone. Tomorrow we will visit the market to stock up for Christmas Day and Wednesday is Christmas Eve. Maybe we can find some local celebrations for Christmas Eve.
I’ve just added one picture to this post. I’ll work on a slide show when I have time. Meanwhile, I have posted some pictures on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/ralph.carlson