Sun 1st May.
Cathar Castle Day The plan for the day was to drive south for about 90 min or so and visit a few of the more notable Cathar Castles. The wind was still up but at least there was a bit of sun so Mark and I fitted in a walk before we all headed off at about 10.30am. The drive down was rather spectacular as we drew closer to the spectacular mountains with rugged limestone outcrop making up the Aude Pyreneese.
The first Castle at Lapradelle, the Puilaurens Castle, was accessed up a rather steep and rocky path and so my footwear choice of the day, Midas ankle boots, meant I had to stay in the car whilst the others checked it out.
We were all rather hungry by the end of this visit and were lucky to find a nearby restaurant that was open for lunch. Today, being May 1st, meant most places were closed for business. The restaurant was ‘Le Catharome’ and we all took the plate of the day which was trout and it was delicious. Check out the photo! The Creme Brûlée dessert, taken by Mark, Gordon and Judy, was delicious as well with Mark saying it even topped that from dinner the night before!
It was almost 3.30pm by the time we finished lunch and we set course for the next Castle on our list, the Queribus Castle at Cucugnan. This was about a 40 min drive but, again, through rather spectacular geological formations. The drive alone was worth the trip even without the Castles. We managed to find a bottle shop that was open which was rather handy as we were staying in tonight but the boys had exhausted the supply of red wine. As luck would have it this wine shop turned out to be a cellar door of sorts and so we all tasted the wines before we bought them.
It was after 4pm by the time we arrived at Queribus Castle and sadly for me again, Midas ankle boots, we’re not appropriate for the terrain. As it turns out though my boots may have done me a favor. The other four only made a quick visit as the wind at the top was so strong it was too dangerous to take in much of the view. The late hour, 5pm, meant we would not make any other sites i
n suitable time and so we headed home for a quiet night dining in.