We began yesterday with twin objectives – Bernie to buy some previously spotted presents from the lovely craft shops that adorn many of Carcassonne’s tiny streets; and I to take advantage of the clear and stark light of early morning to get a final set of shots from the interior of the ancient, walled city. 


There were few people around as we agreed our meeting spot, an hour later, then hurried off on our respective quests. 


You can pay to walk the full length of the ramparts, but a little exploration reveals that there are little-documented doors in the interior walls that open on to most of them, anyway. These routes around the interior perimeter (beyond which is only the drop to the countryside below) are also used by service vehicles. It was watching one of these (below) that an image came to mind if my favourite teenage book, Dune, by Frank Herbert. 


The extreme heat and the shape of the towers reminded me of the covers of the classic set of books at the time – It could well have been Arrakis, the spice ridden desert planet, Home of the giant sand worms.


My hour was soon up, so, drawn by the sound of haunting violin music, I followed its strains down a small alley I had not seen before, to make one final trip to the edge of the walls. 


The melody was being played by a local girl who was blind in her right eye. I put some money into her music case and stood back to listen. The two of us were alone and I let the wondrous moment unfold and forgot the passing of time. At the end, I pointed to my iPhone and asked if I could take a shot. She smiled and nodded, picking up her instrument again and starting to play… Very much a ‘Troubadour’ moment. 

©Stephen Tanham 2016. 

14 Comments on “French Postcards 4

  1. Pingback: French Postcards 4 from Steve Tanham | Sue Vincent – Daily Echo

  2. I’ve been to Carcassonne. Briefly, a few years back. I had no time to wander, though, and really soak it up. I remember swimming in the rain while looking at endless vinyards in the distance. Your pictures are truly gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

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