Zigzag through France (part 4/4)

The Cathars and the Pyrenees

On Ina ‘s recommendation, we continue to the Cathar region, a Christian movement that was especially popular in the 12th and 13th centuries. We first drive to Collioure, a small port town on the Mediterranean Sea close to the Spanish border.

9-11-2019: After spending the night at a motorhome spot, we explore the beautiful town of Collioure in the morning and buy a game of anchovies at Desclaux.

We drive into the Cathar country, the mountains get higher, the slopes steeper, Milady loves these kind of roads and we enjoy the landscapes.

The Cathar castle of Peyrepertuse is built high on a mountain, strategically, unreachable for the crusaders who fought the Cathars.

Pfff, that was quite a climb, but we can continue with a good impression of the circumstances in which the Cathars lived. In Carcassonne we see the old cité, a well-preserved walled city with a Cathar castle.

When it gets dark we look for the camper place of Carcassonne, nicely cared for, for a fee …

10-11-2019: Today we want to go to Vielleségure, where Philippe lives, a friend of ours who we met through Joep. Joep is also visiting Philippe, nice.

Along the way we drive past Mirepoix on the advice of Cecile, beautiful half-timbered houses and a church with a magnificent organ,

this organ concert reminded me of my father, nice

and Vals, where the church is built in a rock, unbelievably beautiful. Unfortunately, the church needs restoration and apparently there is no money to achieve that …

During the afternoon we arrive in Vielleségure, we are welcomed with open arms by Philippe and Joep, very nice to spend a few days with them.

11-11-2019: today it is l’Armistide (the French commemoration of the fallen in the various wars). Philippe is mayor of this small municipality in Béarn and gives a speech that is spoken in all French municipalities. Especially reading of the names of the fallen where the children respond with “mort pour la France” makes a big impression on us.

We do a tour of the area with Philippe as a guide, Salies-de-Béarn is a beautiful place.

14-11-2019: Today we leave Vielleségure again, it was wonderful to catch up, enjoy each other’s company and eat and drink well.

In the afternoon we visit Navarrenx

and then drive through the Pyrenees to Spain.

The enormous old station of Canfranc on the border of Spain and France

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