Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Next on our agenda was to visit the beautiful Lagrasse. This town has a population of just over 600 people, and it is famous for being part of the association of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages of France) and for the Corbière wine produced in the surrounding region.

One thing we discovered when travelling around was that the Mediterranean operates on its own time frame. Many businesses open from something like 9-1, and then from 4-7. Or if they are a restaurant then their hours might be from 1-4 and then from 7-10.

When we arrived in Lagrasse, it was siesta time and the town was like the Marie Celeste - cars everywhere, but hardly any people to be seen! (Not that there were cars on the Marie Celeste, but you know what I mean...)

After buying a pizza from a little pizza joint in a row of cafés (the only places that were open) we took off on une randonnée pédestre (a ramble).

Lagrasse was lovely, and we enjoyed pottering around, walking along the narrow streets and peering at medieval ruins.

The main attractions in Lagrasse itself are the remains of the medieval village, and the Lagrasse Abbey. The Abbaye Sainte-Marie de Lagrasse dates from the 7th century and is part of the Romanesque Benedictine order.

As we were looking in at a part of the building that was next to the Abbey café and gift shop, peering through the iron gates with our camera, a monk stepped out through a large door! I'm not sure if this is part of the original cloister, but it sure was exciting to think that history and modern-day might have collided for us in that very spot.

We spent two hours poking around Lagrasse, hardly seeing another soul, and were sorry to have to leave. The next stop was Carcassonne, and we wanted to leave enough time to explore there, so we reluctantly returned to the car.

The Abbey from across the river

Monk? Or just a priest?

Ainsi (so), we said adieu to Lagrasse and continued on our merry way.

1 comment:

  1. une randonnée pédestre - I'm so using this phrase! Loving your blog. Keep it up guys. Although it is inconvenient, making me want to go to all these places in the south! Missed my chance - well, missed A chance, I suppose.
    PS. the bit with us is next! yay!