|Pink Flamingoes of the Camargue|
|The medieval waals of Cite de Carcassone|
From the Auvergne, we moved to the South West of France where we based ourselves in the city of Carcassonne. Carcassonne is an excellent place to base oneself for a roadtrip as it is about one hour from the foothills of the Pyrenees, an hour or two from the Mediterranean, a short hop to Toulouse, Montpellier, or Nimes, with an amazing amount of interest in itself.
|On the ramparts, looking at the Gallo-Roman semi circular tower, second in this line.|
|Carcassonne fortress towering over the river Aude|
|The "new town" has a history of its own|
It is a joy to walk around the walled cite de Carcassonne. There are a fair share of souvenir shops within the walls, and cafe/restaurants but it is all in keeping with the environment. Just walking around the walls is a great experience. Although much of the walls were rebuilt in the 1800's, there are parts which are much older, going back to the Gallo-Roman period which roughly was between 250-450 AD. The cite is built on a hill which makes it an imposing fortress, but it also makes walks to it (and runs around it!) quite difficult. It is absolutely worth it though.
|Layeerd hills in the Pyrenees|
|Towns and villages nestle into valleys in the Pyrenean foothills|
We took two day trips from Carcassone, one to Ax-Les-Thermes in the Pyrenees, and another to the Camargue. Both were absolutely amazing for the scenery we saw, though the Camargue had the added benefit of being a wildlife reserve. Our trip to the Camargue started with a trip to the Mediterranean town of St Maries de la Mer where a yearly Romany pilgrimage occurs every May. From there, it was just drive around and stop and look at the flora and fauna of the region, including white horses, kingfishers, Heron's, the scrubby ground full of sea lavender and dotted with Tamarisk trees, and of course, the bright pink Flamingoes.
|St Maries de la Mer|
|White horses of the Camargue|
|Still waters over the Camargue marshes|