Medieval France – Carcassonne – Bergerac

We had only one night in Carcassonne and would’ve loved to stay longer. To make the most of it, I got up at 5:45am and went for a run around La Cité, my first run in France and most certainly my first run around an old fortress. It was quite lovely without any people.

Had breakfast at the hotel which was a bit pricey but okay and left at 9:30am, we had a loooong day ahead of us. Looking back, Carcassonne was totally worth a stop and the hotel was superb.

Rich’s new friend, the hotel cat. Here the furry friend is manning reception, just making sure everything is done correctly around there.

On our way out we had to fill up and for the second time on our trip encountered long standing roadworks Google maps had no idea about. What’s going on there Google?

Followed all the other cars as diversion signs were sparse and back on the main road had a look for “our” petrol station. Had a bit of a faff, ending up at the bit that was for electric cars only, but eventually found the part that served us petrol.

It was a nice and cool 20 something degrees and finally we were rolling. Montolieu and Saissac where the first bigger settlements on our way and wow, absolutely stunning with nothing but old buildings and the odd town wall or castle. No time to stop for us though, we had only just left Carcassonne.

Through the outskirts of Languedoc National Park we rode now with plenty of woodland, some long sweeping corners and a few twisties. Great change of scenery. Afterwards the undulating and rolling low hills we’ve seen so often when riding in France.

Stopped 11:30am for coffee and tart at Puylaurans. The rolling hills afterwards were now dotted with fields and vineyards, the latter one’s looking picture post card style with big old estates right in the middle of acres of wine plants.

Lovely colours as we rode around Toulouse on basically empty roads

13:15 next break in Montricoux. Our bums were taking beating today, haha. Once more this place was full of old medieval buildings. It was getting pretty hot now and despite sweating profoundly, we had lunch in the shade of a tree and then wandered in awe along the cobbled main street.

Another short break around 3pm in the shade at a hotel beer garden which was closed unfortunately. So instead of a coffee we had water and a coke from the nearby petrol station.

Shortly after we finally entered the Dordogne. I had been here just for a day over 20 years ago and remembered how amazing this place was. My memory was not wrong. It was a bit like Cotswolds on steroids… A lot of steroids. One gorgeous little village after the next. All superbly kept houses with pointed four sides roofs laid with red tiles, sat on yellow blocks of sandstone. And chateau after chateau, one massive mansion after another. Stunning! Including a village that looked like it was carved out of the rock next to it: La Roque-Gageac . It was busy there and at 36C in the sun or so, we really didn’t fancy stopping.

A very brief “I got something in my helmet”-break, chance for me to take a quick snap
Chateau de Beynac

We crossed over the broad river that gives the region its name a few times, through woodland, up and down little hills. It was amazing! Shame it was a scorching temperatures, we were tired and stopping anywhere in the sun would’ve been like being grilled on a BBQ. Even the wind when riding was just a warm breeze at 50mph.

We just wanted to arrive now and get out of our wet gear. At 6pm we did just that. A very unassuming house in a very unassuming street in Bergerac was to be our hotel. We only really found it by double checking the number.

But what a find it was! We were greeted by our super friendly host Stèphane and parked the bikes in the garden. Our room or rather suite was huge! Main bedroom twice as big as our lounge at home. A bathroom with shower and tub and another one with toilet. Massive wardrobe as well.

The house itself was huge too. Two lounges with comfy sofas, massive kitchen, lovely breakfast room. Wow.

Excuse the mess, but the room was huuuuuge

After showers we went into the city centre for food. Once more we were amazed by all the old medieval buildings. It was still very warm, so as we passed by a Brasserie/Bar serving Mojitos, we had no choice but have one each 😁.

Found a nice restaurant for food too. Three course meal for 19 Euros each wasn’t that bad at all.

Service was a bit slow so it was already past 10pm when we left to walk a little around town. It was quite magical though with those lovely medieval buildings and the soft street lights.

Once more we wished we had another day here to explore, especially with such a superb hotel. Back at the hotel well after 11pm, all we did was slump onto the bed and fall asleep straight away.

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