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The Medieval Short Break

Canal du Midi, France

Reviews for the The Medieval Short Break

I had an unique experience at a market in one of the small villages we stopped at. A particular scarf caught my eye and with out speaking French and the lady selling the knitting kit spoke no English. However, she taught me how to knit the scarf and I bought the kit. I leisurely enjoyed knitting while boating on the Canal du Midi. Another experience was exchanging paper towels for toilet paper with, again, not speaking French and visa versa. We thoroughly enjoyed going through the locks, the scenery especially the plane trees and the Pyrenees in the distance. We also like riding bikes, sleeping on the boat and listening to the sounds of nature.
We travelled from Castelnaudary to Trebes. We loved Villesquellande and of course Carcassonne. It was so tranquil. We were on the Canal du Midi from end March till early April 2012 for 4 nights. My kids loved it as did my parents. It was so nice docking wherever you wanted to and you were safe. It was also very exciting going through all the lochs. It keeps you very busy and wasn't boring at all. We were affraid that the kids would get bored however, we could have extended the trip easily by another few days.
Going to the Carcassone old Cite was stunning and there was the most awesome restaurant in Trebes right on the last loch called The Moulin - WHAT A FIND!!! Castelnaudary was also a beautiful little town. I would recommend that you rather travel in mid-April and later as a lot of restaurants etc weren't open yet in the end of March. Also go and shop for food from your port of take off as there are not that many restaurants etc along the route.
This was the most magical, romantic and relaxing holiday. It was just the two of us on board, and we managed the boat with ease. It was perfectly comfortable and well-equipped. The highlights were definitely just pottering down the canal soaking up the scenery, and the visit to Carcassonne and its beautiful fortress. We also loved riding bikes through the countryside and stopping for picnic baguettes and cheese when the mood seized us.
It's worth spending a little time exploring Castelnaudary itself and eating a good cassoulet - the famous regional dish was definitely at its best in this town. Then do leave at least a full afternoon to enjoy Carcassone and its fortress; we downloaded a 2-3 hour walking tour online and found it absolutely fascinating. Don't try and cram too much into the days, as the most wonderful part is just pottering down the river, enjoying the gorgeous scenery and the slow flow of life.