There are so many fun, scenic things to do in and around Carcassonne that it’s a delight to plan visits for family and friends. My dear friend Geri, from Colorado, visited us in early April this year for five days, and my next posts are about some of the fun things we did together.

Saturday March 30: The International Parade at Limoux’s Carnival. 

Limoux (pop. 10,000, 35-minute drive from Carcassonne) hosts a three-month Carnival every year, the longest Carnival in the world. (Compare its three months to the more famous Carnival of Brazil at 5 days, and the Carnival in Venice, which lasts 15 days). We were there for the most exotic event, the International Parade, with fantastically costumed teams from as far away as Mexico, China, and Brazil. It was fabulous!

Blanquette tasting
After the parade, Geri, my dear local friend Emma, and I went wine tasting – actually, Blanquette tasting. Blanquette is a luscious sparkling wine that originated in Limoux, and although France’s Champagne region has better marketing, wine historians state that the world’s first sparkling wine was produced here, near Limoux, in 1531. (Champagne is said to have been “invented” in 1693 by, of course, Dom Perignon – wow, more than 150 years after Limoux’s first production!)

Below: Before the parade, the three of us had lunch at Domaine d’Auriac, a lovely chateau with ancient vines, 10 minutes outside of Carcassonne. That’s Geri and me.

And, below, Geri and I started our day at Carcassonne’s wonderful Saturday Farmer’s Market. Below: a photo of me with our most honored purveyor of duck, Benjamin Papaix, whose duck farm, La Ferme du ROC, is a short distance from Carcassonne. I can’t wait to visit his farm!


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