Monday, October 21
After resolving the mystery of the bells that chimed at the wrong time in the night, we had good trip to yet another of the many ruined Cathar strongholds that dot the landscape of this part of France. Today’s trip had us heading to Lastours, a bit north of Carcassonne. On sharp outcroppings of rock, there are four ruined castles to see. On this excursion, we viewed them only from a nearby belvedere but have decided to return with a picnic lunch and hike up to the ruins and do some up close exploration.
We visited the Benedictine Abbey in Caunes Minervois after fortifying ourselves with goat cheeseburgers at a cafe on the square. In case there is any confusion, the cheese was of the goat variety NOT the meat.* It was a great burger and paired beautifully with the rough house wine.
*An aside about goat meat: Goat can be found on the menus in these parts. Michael had some deliciously succulent roast kid the last time we were here. Our first lunch out on this trip, we went to The Terminus, a nearby restaurant. One of the items on the chalk board was “cabillaud.” Dave asked about it and the waitress repeated the word, which to my obviously defective ears sounded something like “capri…something.” I thought maybe it was goat, which I articulated out loud. When the waitress heard “goat,” she nodded. Great, we communicated. Dave ordered it in the spirit of adventure. When it arrived it was obviously fish, which I think he was happy to see. Turns out “cabillaud” is cod but I guess my pronunciation of “goat” sounded sort of cod-like to our waitress. The adventures of miscommunication are as important as any other.