The day that we spent at Plage du Festival was one of the highlights of our France road trip. As many of you know, I hate the beach and tropical places. It's hard for me to willingly put on a swimsuit and want to go to the beach. It's just not my thing. So I purposefully went into this trip to overcome that. I have to admit, that this is the kind of beach setup I like. Call me boujie, but sitting under an umbrella and being served rosé all day, is not a bad way to do the beach. Markus and I spent the whole day at Plage du Festival and it was one of the most relaxing and lovely days in France. I had so much fun that I forgot to take photos, which explains why there aren't that many!
Our fourth stop on our whirlwind road trip through France was Carcassonne in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Carcassonne is well known as a 13th century medieval fortified city and is classified as a UNESCO heritage site. Markus and I haven't been to many authentic medieval places, so we decided to include the city on our trip.
As we walked up to the entrance of the medieval citadel. We glanced to the left and saw the entrance to the Cimetière de la Cité. Since, we often don't see above ground cemeteries much less ones in a 13th century fortified city, we decided to take a look. The layout was very straightforward with just four aisles and mainly graves. I don't recall seeing any chapels or mausoleums. We explored for about 30 mins and saw a lot of flowers and decorations. There was a huge festival or something going on nearby and I remember hearing Bruno Mars playing quite loudly, so that was a bit strange and a memory I wont soon forget.
Previously, I posted about our stay at Château de Boucéel in Normandy and we were lucky enough to stay at another château in the Bordeaux region of France. While I was looking for places to stay in Bordeaux, I came across Château Lamothe du Prince Noir. I remember showing it to Markus and us both saying, it looked amazing, but maybe a little out of our league. So I kept searching for another place to stay. No matter how many acceptable and nice places I found, I kept going back to Château Lamothe du Prince Noir. So, in the end, that's where we ended up spending three magical nights during our time in France.
I'm so glad that we decided to stay at Château Lamothe du Prince Noir. It was very different from Château de Boucéel, but it was just as lovely. The property is owned and run by Carla, a lovely woman from England. When we stayed there, her daughter and her family were helping for the summer and they both had amazing recommendations for restaurants and hot spots in the area. One of my favorite things about the property was the pool. On one of our days in the city, we left a little early because we just wanted to spend a few hours by the pool. It was definitely an idyllic afternoon. Later, I'll be sharing a bit more about the château, including our room which really was fit for royalty.
As I stated in my last post, one of my biggest regrets on this trip was not spending more time in Saint-Émilion. Thankfully, I booked an afternoon excursion with Bordovino that combined a stop in the little commune and two wineries. Our tour guide, Soline, managed to pack in the greatest spots in Saint-Émilion before we left. One of these spots was this great view near the Saint-Émilion Monolithic Church. The church dates back to the 12th century and was carved from a single block of stone and is quite massive. I've seen a lot of churches in my life, but I honestly cannot say I've seen one as impressive and towering as this one. It was positively medieval and the perfect place to end our time in the beautiful and stunning Saint-Émilion
Mont Saint-Michel is a well-known island commune of the coast of Normandy in France. Originally, the commune was founded by an Irish hermit who had gained a following on the mainland. In the past it was used as a stronghold in the sixth and seventh centuries. Local legend says that the archangel Michael appeared in a vision to the bishop and told him to build a church. Currently, it was one of the most visited sites in France and loved for the trek from the mainland to the island during low tide.
I remember seeing a photo of Mont Saint-Michel in a book when I was a kid and promised myself I would visit one day. There is definitely a sense of awestruck wonder when you approach the island, but unfortunately that disappears when you make it onto the island. Droves of people and are bussed onto the island, overloading the small space with tourists. It was a little unbearable and hard to enjoy. Even though, the experience on Mont Saint-Michel wasn't my favorite, I'm still glad we went because it's such a unique and beautiful place. It's worth a visit even if there are tons of tourists. Normandy is beautiful and there is enough to do in the area to entertain.