Coming out of Confinement in Carcassonne

Here’s the latest regarding how we’re coming out of confinement in Carcassonne. But first a little bit about World War 2 – Victory in Europe day – yesterday – so important in France.

Victory in Europe Day

Yesterday, May 8, was the 75th anniversary celebrating Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender in 1945. It’s a public holiday here in France. (When the Nazis surrendered, it was already May 9 for Russia – our ally – so most former Soviet states celebrate on May 9.)

The photos below show how Carcassonne has celebrated Victory in Europe day in years past, at our Monument to the Dead of Carcassonne, on Place Davilla.

Carcassonne tribute to fallen war heroes on May 8 victory in Europe day Coming out of Confinement in Carcassonne

When I wished Happy V-E day to my dear French friend Laure, she replied “We couldn’t celebrate this day without the American help during WW2.” Her words brought a few tears to my eyes.

Here’s a happy photo of my dear friend Laure, on the left, and my lovely French teacher Battine, on Place Carnot, Feb 13, one month before confinement started. We all stay in touch and continue with our French lessons, and still, I miss them very much.

Laure and Battine on Place Carnot Coming out of Confinement in Carcassonne

At the bottom of this post, I’ve written a just little more about V-E day, and my dad as a 7-year-old little Norwegian sweetie-pie when the Nazis occupied Norway.

Coming out of Confinement

Here’s the deconfinement map of France as of May 7. Departments (which are like counties in the U.S.) in green can start coming out of confinement slowly on Monday, May 11. Jeff and I are so happy to be surrounded by green departments, and happy to be in a green department (Aude) ourselves.

Our hearts go out to Paris and the other red departments, which will have to stay in confinement, and their restrictions may become even more severe.

On the map, I’ve pointed out our department (Aude) and a just a few of the places we’ve visited before confinement started.

Map of French departments Coming out of Confinement in Carcassonne

Our Prefecture (County seat – Our department’s county seat is here in Carcassonne) told us yesterday that in our department/county Aude, we can now again enjoy

  • Forests
  • Abbeys
  • The Canal du Midi (bike rides along the canal again! Yeay!)
  • Castles – so I hope that means we can take lovely walks within the walls of our beautiful medieval walled city.

I can see 19 of our medieval walled city’s 52 towers (including all 5 Roman towers built 2000 years ago) as I sit here in my office and write this. But how nice it will be to actually walk within the walls of La Cité once again – which have been off limits for two months. Below is my evening view from my office.

View of Carcassonne Medieval Walled City at night from our home Coming out of Confinement in Carcassonne

Through JJ, we’ve heard from our Prefect here in Aude, Sophie Elizéon, that there is a working meeting today, with a case-by-case examination of each of the sites in our department/ county. So we’ll learn more about availability of our beautiful walled city and other sites at a later date.

They’re probably also discussing our Lac de la Cavayère, our lake that’s only 10 minutes away from our home. It has a wonderful hour-long walk around it, a beach, water sports, and a restaurant. And our friends Michael and Errol have played concerts there. (Here’s a link to my post about one of their sessions.) The lake has been closed since confinement started two months ago. We’ve heard that when the lake does open there will be canoeing and boating. Jeff and I are so looking forward to that!

Masks will be available to everyone in France – everyone – starting May 11. Here’s a superb map, published by the city today, that shows the closest locations to our homes where we can procure our masks, free of charge. And I’ve taken the opportunity to show you a little bit more about where we live, in relation to the walled city, and the “new town” what I usually call “La Bastide.”

Map of Carcassonne showing major sites Coming out of Confinement in Carcassonne

Another HUGE thing. Starting next week, tests will be available to everyone in the country of France. Repeat: There are enough tests for everyone in this country. If you feel sick, there are several phone numbers that you can call. The medic on the phone will decide, based on your symptoms, will you go to hospital, will you go to a private clinic, or will a medic come to your home. No matter where, you WILL be tested.

From a National level for green departments like ours;

  • All shops will be permitted to re-open (but no large malls. And we don’t have any large malls here in Carcassonne.)
  • We can travel anywhere within our department, and also within a radius of 100km from home. As long as we keep within that distance, it’s ok to travel outside of our own departments.
  • No need to carry an attestation form any more, unless you have need to travel outside your 100km radius.
  • Masks are required when traveling on public transport
  • EU borders will remain closed at least until June 15
  • Beaches will remain closed, but mayors can propose hygienic steps to request the opening of beaches
  • Whether bars and restaurants can re-open will be announced at the beginning of June

Here’s a superb post shared by our friend Samantha who lives here in Carcassonne. We are a green department – let’s follow the rules through June 2 so our restaurants can open!

Some train lines are back in service. Trains will sell only one seat out of two, to comply with the distance rules. Wearing a mask will be compulsory on trains and public transportation.

Victory in Europe Day, and a little boy in Norway

My father was 7 years and three months old when the Nazis occupied Norway. A horrible time – he remembers being hungry every day. Ration cards, raising rabbits for food.

He was 12 years and 4 months old on Victory in Europe day. What elation all of Europe must have felt when the nightmare was over. He didn’t talk about it very much. I’m sure it was extremely hard after the liberation – rebuilding – but liberation must have been so glorious compared to occupation. N-e-v-e-r-A-g-a-i-n.