I wrote this blog last week, but I haven’t had time to post it until now. Just got home from Spain today, the specific blog entry was about Friday, April 2nd:
Had my final USAC excursion (aside from the upcoming Paris finale). It was to the medieval city of Carcassonne and la ville rose, AKA Toulouse. My main goal for the weekend was to get in contact with my French family. My dad sent me an email with more names and after searching online once more I discovered I have a relative in Toulouse! I used Elly’s phone to call him from Carcassonne and I got an answer so I eagerly/nervously asked for Renee. This guy said he wasn’t Renee and I had the wrong #. Followed this up, by trying to call my other relative who lives in Moissac, and the phone just kept ringing, ringing and ringing with no answer. One more attempt was made (without success) again later that day in Toulouse. I think I’m going to give it another shot from a phone in Pau, but it looks as if I will not be reaching my family.
Luckily, that was the only disappointing part of my day (well that and an unsuccessful hunt for ice cream). I hung out with Elly for most of the trip and (considering this was the day after our week long trip to Ireland and we still aren’t sick of each other) I think I’ve made an awesome friend through USAC. She rocks!
Out of all the cities from the middle ages, Carcassonne is the most intact (according to my program director). I loved the fact that people still live inside the fortress, but the outrageous number of souvenir shops and over-priced restaurants made me feel more as if I was in a counterfeit world of Disneyland than a medieval city. Because of this, I think prefer St Malo to Carcassonne, the history felt more authentic there and it is right on the Atlantic!
And as with every USAC excursion, we were given a 3-course lunch! The starter was one of the best salads I have ever had:
*stole this pic from Kim
The bread was delicious!! In the middle was a toasted slice with warm goat cheese on top. A lot of cheese for a salad, but it was soooooo goooood!
The entree was Cassoulet, but since it was Good Friday I ate with the vegetarians and we got a horrible entree. It was boring and bland, luckily I wasn’t hungry after that salad.
And dessert was pretty good….not sure what to call this though, some sort of cake with a pear inside:
*also stolen from Kim
After lunch Elly and I walked around the city and we ran into some USAC kids talking to a man who called himself, “The Golden Elf”. Definitely an insane dude dressed in a very bizarre outfit. He claimed to come from the North Pole and drew the group a map, which was solely a penciled X on a blank piece of paper.
It was amusing at first, until I realized he was completely serious and this USAC group was videotaping him and clearly mocking him with their questions. And I got the feeling he knew he was being mocked. Elly looked pretty upset by the whole situation, so we left the group and went to the bus a bit early.
Then we went to Toulouse and spent the night there, but I’ll write about that in a separate blog – don’t want to make this one too long! Kind of an awkward ending here, but I’m lazy
Oh yeah! Forgot to mention this place was filled with creepy mannequins everywhere!!
(that was another reason I preferred St Malo! )
Oh and when I skyped my mom later that weekend, she said this was my 2nd trip to Carcassonne. So I must have gone when I was either one or four years old…