Thursday, June 6, 2019, 20 of us took a wonderful day trip to the lovely little hill town of Rennes le Château. It’s an hour south of Carcassonne, and has commanding views toward the Pyrenees, a proud estate and a lovely chapel both dating to the late 1800s, a museum, a tidy assortment of stone homes and buildings, artisanal shops, scenic restaurants and 24 residents.

Below: Here’s a photo of a postcard of the village.

We had a lovely three-course lunch under a massive chestnut tree in restaurant Jardin de Marie’s garden, a guided tour of the chapel and the museum, a soap making demonstration, a glass blowing demonstration, and a 20-minute piano concert.

Plus, it was one of the prettiest drives I’ve experienced while here – forested hills, olive trees, vineyards, cypress trees, fields of red poppies, stone villages, plane trees, and a gorge with a river running through it. And it’s the closest to the Pyrenees that I’ve been so far.

The excursion was with AVF (Welcome to French Cities), which is the organization through which I’m taking many of my (no-cost) French classes. It’s the sixth excursion I’ve taken with them in the 10 months we’ve been here, and they all were excellent! This one, though, was my very favorite.



  • Karen says:

    Absolutely magical! I’m so very happy for you! I must come visit! How about March 2020?

    • Vibeke Arentz says:

      Bonjour, Karen! Yes, March 2020 would be fine for a visit! There aren’t any leaves on the trees or in the vineyards and it can be a little chilly, but we don’t have any guests coming in March, so it would be fine! It will be so wonderful to see you again, dear friend! Vibeke