‘Twas a beautiful day yesterday and with the forecast calling for rain today (they were right), so we (read: I) decided that it would be a good day to make another day trip and see a chateau in Cathar country.
Our destination this time was Chateau Peyrepertuse. Frankly, I’d never heard of the place until I received an email from Trip Advisor, which in a sidebar listed its members’ 10 favorite FR landmarks. Out of this top 10, we had been to four of them, but not to this chateau, which was rated #3, above such well-known places as Mont Saint Michel, Chateau Chenonceau and Sainte Chapelle. Seeing that it was located in the Languedoc-Roussillon area and thus not too far from us, we/I decided we should go visit it.
And I’m glad we did. Even D admitted to liking it (if only for the fun in climbing the trails). But with serpentine curves and a seriously uphill finish to the parking lot, I’m not sure the Newman’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster was all that happy – the engine temperature was climbing pretty good when we finally stopped.
A mere 20-minute schlep and we were at the entrance to the lower castle. Looking into the distance, we saw:
Everyone online raved about the views and they were right. This is an area in the foothills of the Pyrenees with other Cathar-era chateaux – such as Queribus and Aguilar – perched on hilltops and with some surprisingly green valleys (it’s been pretty dry in the area until the past week).
Anyway, we caught parts of a falconry show and made it through both the upper and lower castles. All the while, I was wondering how many people lived there (don’t know), how they got their food (the top of the crest is 800 metres – about a half-mile – high), and how the Pope’s armies managed to get up to the top and defeat the Cathars (they sieged it and probably starved the populace until they ceded).
Our visit ended much more happily: