L’Abri sous Roche

Our first B&B experience in France was my favorite. Although the town of Tautavel is a little off the beaten path (think: it is most famous for housing the largest prehistoric museum in Europe, seriously?!) staying with Didier and his huge, friendly dog Bali was really pleasant.  Huge, clean room, spacious shower with ample hot water, and delicious homemade apricot jam for breakfast.  Did I mention that Andrew had an entire conversation with the host in French and I said stuff like j’meeapple Amanda.  Un semáne in Paris.  Chien, fromage, pain.  And the host still decided he would help us plan our driving route for the day.  Wow.

Day 3 of road trip was an ambitious day, and it paid off quite nicely.  We started off on a nice windy drive with Carcassone as our destination.  Although the wind on the ground in this fairy tale city was frigid, we enjoyed touring around a castle and eating a feast for lunch.  (Well I mostly enjoyed the feast. One of Andrew and Mitchell’s favorite mantras throughout the trip was that a hot meal can really boost morale.  I admit, its true. They know how to appease females when we are starting to feel road trip and endless car time weary). Andrew, Mitchell and I all ate a huge portion of a typical southern France meal, cassoulet, which included roasted duck, two types of sausages and white beans.  There was also the most wonderful salad served alongside.  It was simple, only mixed dark leafy greens, tomatoes and a bitter dijon mustard dressing that I must learn to recreate.

Our next stop was in Bezièrs. A quick, but enjoyable jaunt to the top of a hill to see green fields, a walk over an ancient Roman bridge and a race back to the car sums up our hour long visit.

Back in the car and onto the seaside town of Sete.  It had a distinctly charming feel.  Mitchell likes to say we can show folks the pictures and say we jetted on down to Venice.  I’m not so sure, but before sunset the town was bustling, maybe a little grungy, but the sparkling Mediterranean water in the canals made up for the graffiti.  After the sun set, the charm turned into a cheap, red-light district, I’m-not-so-sure-I-like-this-empty-street-feel, so we decided to book it on out of there.  I think part of the problem was we decided to use the public bathrooms near Plaza Stalingrad.  I don’t think that is ever a good idea.

Also a long car day, we left Sete to pick up our fourth trusty travel buddy at the Marseilles airport.  After a tense hour trying to find the location of our bed and breakfast for the night, we rolled in, tired, but satisfied.

And, if you didn’t know, South France loves bullfighting.  We didn’t know either.


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