WJ Tested: Globus La France Motorcoach Tour – Carcassonne and Nimes

Jill Explores Carcassonne

Jill Explores Carcassonne

WJ Tested: Globus La France Motorcoach Tour – Carcassonne and Nimes

Day 9 – Carcassonne

Today the wake-up call helped us rise bright and early at 6 a.m., even though we didn’t depart from Lourdes until 8 a.m. for our journey to the medieval walled-city of Carcassonne – one of our most favorite places to visit in France.

Finally the weather was with us and it was a gorgeous day for viewing the spectacular scenery with the Pyrenees mountains in the distance. Along the route to Carcassonne, Vic gave a lengthy explanation about the history of the medieval city, plus what to do and see during our time there.

Travel Tips: Galliac sparkling wine is excellent and a bargain at about euro 7 a bottle; Foie Gras is the fat liver of a goose and can be served as pate, terrine or pan seared – heavenly; If you enjoy duck be sure to try cassoulet – a delicious casserole of white beans, sausage and duck confit.

A 20-minute comfort stop was made after a couple of hours highway driving, and then we continued our drive past the city of Toulouse.

Carcassonne is a Medieval Walled City in France

Carcassonne is a Medieval Walled City in France

By 11:45 a.m. we arrived at the parking area in Carcassonne and took the shuttle bus to the main gate of the walled city. At this point we left the group and went on our own to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch to feast on cassoulet.

Jill Loves Cassoulet

Jill Loves Cassoulet

Carcassonne Fun Facts:

  • Carcassonne is in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the southwest of France
  • Has a history that dates back over two thousand years
  • The town is divided into the fortified city and the lower city on the other side of the Aude River
  • The restored fortress (the walled city)  is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites
  • The movie, “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” was filmed in part here
  • The New York Times bestseller, “Labyrinth” by Kate Mosse will transport you back in time to medieval Carcassonne
  • When visiting, one must try the regional dish, cassoulet, made of beans, sausage and duck

    Walls Around Carcassonne

    Walls Around Carcassonne

At 1:45 p.m. we met the group at the main gate and took the shuttle bus back to the coach. By 2 p.m. we were once again driving along the highway towards our destination for the night… Nimes.

Nimes:

We checked in to 4-star Hotel Imperator in the center of Nimes by 4:30 p.m. Our room was in deplorable condition and there wasn’t another one as the hotel was sold out.

Nimes Cafes

Nimes Cafes

We then had 45 minutes to get settled before joining Vic and the group for a walking tour of old town Nimes. Vic gave us a detailed explanation of the main sites and once we reached the amphitheater (40 minutes later) we were free until dinner at the hotel.

Exploring Nimes

Exploring Nimes

Nimes Fun Facts:

  • Nimes is in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France and capital of the Gard Department
  • Has long been known for its textiles and this is where the term Denim (as in blue jeans) originates
  • Dates back to the Roman Empire and was strategically located on the Via Domitia ~ the Roman road connecting Italy to Spain
  • The best-preserved Roman arena in France is found here
  • Nearby is the Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct and the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges
  • The typical dish of Nimes is the brandade, a puree of salt cod, olive oil and milk

    Nimes Amphitheatre

    Nimes Amphitheatre

Before dinner, Vic gave us a demonstration on how to prepare the French aperitif, Kir – white or red wine with crème de cassis. Then we enjoyed a delicious 3-course set dinner at Hotel Imperator.

Dinner at Hotel Imperator - Dorade Fish with Potato

Dinner at Hotel Imperator – Dorade Fish with Potato

We started with a delightful gazpacho soup, followed by Dourade fish and potato main course. Next was crème brulee for dessert, and a glass or either red or white wine was also included.

Nimes

Nimes

The serving staff at the hotel was very friendly and efficient, and it is unfortunate that the hotel doesn’t take its cleanliness more seriously as the property has the potential to be quite lovely.

WJ Tested: Globus La France Motorcoach Tour – Carcassonne and Nimes

WJ Tested: Globus La France Motorcoach Tour – Carcassonne and Nimes

If You Go:

Read More About WAVEJourney’s Globus La France Adventures:
| Overview | Paris Day 1 | Paris City Tour Day 2 | Normandy Day 3 | Normandy and Brittany Day 4 | Loire Day 5Loire Valley and Bordeaux Day 6 | Saint Emilion Day 7 | Biarritz and Lourdes Day 8 | Carcassonne and Nimes Day 9 | Pont du Gard and Avignon Day 10 | Monte Carlo Day 11 | Grasse to Grenoble Day 12 | Lyon to Dijon Day 13 | Dijon to Paris Day 14 |

 

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