Happy May Day, everyone. Today, we’ll start by looking at May 1, and then we’ll have a fun look back at the wonderful things that happened in Carcassonne, April 2019.

May 1 is a bank holiday here, the American equivalent of Labor Day, celebrating workers. It’s also called Fête du Muget, meaning Lily of the Valley Day. Tiny bouquets of Lilies of the Valleys are sold at this time to celebrate.

The quotation in the photo below translates to “I bring happiness.”

The history is, on the 1st of May 1561, a lily flower of the valley was given as a lucky charm to King Charles IX of France. That started the tradition of giving lilies of the valley as a sign of good luck. They are everywhere, beautiful and fragrant, during the days leading up to May 1.

Now on to Carcassonne April 2019

I often tell friends that I wish I could publish a blog post every day, because every day something very special happens here. But, there’s never enough time in the day to both have the experiences, and write about them.

Well, given the fact that we all have a little more stay-at-home time these days, I thought it would be fun to look back at my photos from Carcassonne April 2019, to remind myself of what happened last year. So here’s a post to share the many wonderful things I didn’t have time to post about back then.

Geri visits!

My dear friend Geri from Colorado – friends for more than 20 years – came to stay with us in April 2019. And what fun we had.

Day 1:

Dinner at Le Passage, on Rue Trivalle, a two-minute walk from our home.

Day 2:

A walk along the ramparts of our medieval walled city, lunch at Adelaide inside the city walls

Wine tasting at Alex’s Vin et Vinos

Seeing Michael and Errol play in a local cafe, and a gorgeous view of La Cité on our walk home.

Day 3:

Carcassonne’s Farmer’s market, that’s me with “Duck Guy” – I buy duck from him every week.


Lunch at Domaine d’Auriac, lovely restaurant on Carcassonne’s golf course:

Then to Limoux, and its spectacular International Carnivale Parade. I’ve put a link to my post about that day at the bottom of this post.


Day 4:

Biking Canal du Midi to Trebes for Lunch (link to post below)

Day 5:

A day trip to the seaside town of Gruissan for lunch by the sea

Day 6:

Biking from home to our Lake Cavayere (But first, the perfect croissant breakfast at La Petite Culliere, 2 minutes from home):

Lunch at Brasserie a 4 Temps – Geri ordered the cheese course for lunch, and here she is choosing her cheeses from their gargantuan cheese cart. Then a visit to Cristelle’s lovely shop La Fille du Midi (The Daughter of the Midi), 2 minutes from home.

Beautiful view of La Cité on our walk home.

View of Carcassonne from Pont Vieux Carcassonne April 2019

Chevalier Walking Tour in La Cité

Early April Jeff and I took a fabulous guided walking tour through our medieval walled city with Jean-Francois Vassal, an educated expert in medieval life and customs. There are only 47 people who live inside the walls of the medieval walled city, and he and his wife are two of them. He and his wife also teach French classes. Find them at Centre d’Histoire Vivante Médiévale.

Jeff decided to rebuild the interior of one of our armoires. He moved those silly drawers down, to create a lot more space.

A lovely art and gastronomy fair in Caunes-Minervois with my dear friend Emma.

Bus to Toulouse

April 8, I took the bus to the Toulouse airport for my trip to Geneva. Normally I would have taken the train, but the morning train didn’t run that day. The train takes an hour, the bus two-and-a-half hours. Fortunately, I built in a lot of extra time to travel to the airport. And the bus ride was a treat! It goes through all the little towns between here and Toulouse – I saw so many things that I wouldn’t have seen on the train.

On the left are the Pyrenees with mustard fields in the foreground. On the right, the town of Avigonnet Laugarais.

Here’s a view of the Alps from my flight to Geneva.

I spent two lovely days in Geneva to teach a public speaking course, something that has been a joy of mine for the last 16 years. From there, I took the bus to Annecy, France, for five wonderful days. I’ve added links to my Annecy stories at the end of this post.


Pyrenees Views

This time of year, we have beautiful views of the Pyrenees from our home. Often, they’re covered in clouds, and we don’t see them in summer because of the hot air. So every time we can see them from home, we’re thrilled.

Easter with Friends

Veronica and George had 14 of us to their home for a beautiful Easter dinner last year.

Après French Lessons

We love our twice-weekly French lessons – and one of the best parts is having coffee or a glass of wine on Place Carnot after lessons are over.

What wonderful memories from last year. And we’ll all make more memories like these, when the world becomes safe again. We look forward to it.

(And I will say, I’m also collecting many happy memories of confinement time. Very special things are happening because we need to stay close to home.)

Here’s a link to last year’s post about Limoux’s International Carnivale Parade.

And one to Geri’s and my bike ride along the Canal du Midi.

And here’s a link to my posts about my wonderful time in beautiful Annecy, France.

Bonne santé, (good health) everyone!