Not Another Cathar Castle!?

Montsegur from parking lot

Montsegur from parking lot

Friday, we were returning home to Cruzy.  Dave, Claire, Suzy and Paul wanted to go back to Lagrasse to visit the part of the abbey that was actually occupied by monks.  They were hoping for a behind the scenes, day-in-the-life-of-a monk experience.  Michael and I still didn’t care about that . . . as long as the monks keep making good liquors and fudge, we’re happy to leave them to it!

Our first stop on our way home, which wasn’t at all on our way home, was in Rennes le Chateau.  For those of you who haven’t read The Davinci Code, the village and the church figures in the novel.  I lit a candle in the church for my Auntie Billee.  On our first trip to Rome with my mother and Auntie Billee we had all just read, or were reading, The DaVinci Code and we took great pleasure in seeking out locations from the book.

We then headed even farther west to Montsegur, yes, another Cathar castle.  Montsegur was, apparently, the last Cathar stronghold and once it fell and its diehard inhabitants put to the torch, Catharism was pretty much history.

The castle is gorgeous up on its perch.  The walk up was strenuous and, as you can see from the photos, the day was bright and warm.  Jeans were not a good clothing choice.  All of the way up, we were accompanied by the sounds of cowbells on the necks of the many cows grazing on the pastures at the base of the climb.  Michael thought we should have been in Switzerland.

I met a grandfather who was taking his two young grandsons up the climb.  He was pointing out all sorts of locations in the far distance to them as they walked up and, at one point, he motioned me over and tried to show me where another “comme ci comme ca” Cathar castle was.  Even I could figure out that comme ci comme ca must mean “so so” or “quasi” or something to that effect based on his hand movements while he said it.

All in all it was a nice hike with more superb views.

After we actually began heading east towards Cruzy, we stopped to take a photo of Carcassonne as its walls caught the afternoon sun.  We are going there on Tuesday.  Stay tuned.

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