Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vive la France!

On Sunday morning, we were both up early and were anxious to hit the road.   This probably had nothing to do with the fact that we were about to cross the border into France.

Just before the border, there was an incredibly busy town advertising duty free stuff of every possible variety.  There were swarms of people EVERYWHERE, and cars pulling into or out of parking spots seemed to bog everything down further.  Just after the town we crossed the border without even being sure that we had.  We didn't even have to slow down as we passed the border patrol folks, let alone stop and show our passports.

As soon as we figured out that we had indeed crossed the border, I suggested to mom that we should find a boulangerie as soon as possible because I wanted some REAL French bread.  We found one and added on a quiche and a vegetable filled pastry too.  We were both in heaven!

We continued north into Narbonne, a mid sized town for this area and found a place to stay.  I think this was the earliest in the day that we have found a room!  After unloading our luggage, we headed out to the archbishop's palace.  It has been converted into two museums, one with art and one with archeology.  We toured the archeological museum, but were very thankful that we both speak French.  A few of the signs had English on them, but the majority of the information was in French.  My brain started to hurt from having to focus so intently on reading the signs, but I think I got the majority of what I read.  Narbonne was very closely tied to the Roman Empire, so the museum talked a lot about the Roman influences on architecture and home door.

After the museum, we also visited the cathedral of Catherine-St Just.  I find cathedrals to be one of my favorite sights.  When you step inside and look up at this amazing vaulted ceiling or admire the intricately detailed stained glass windows or feel the devotion present in the various small chapels around the edges, you can't help but be awestruck at what they were able to accomplish. This particular cathedral was never finished as they built it too close to the city wall.

We wanted to sit down to a nice dinner, but almost everything that wasn't touristy was closed because it was Sunday.  So instead we opened a bottle of wine and had ourselves a little picnic for dinner. We will go out for dinner tonight instead.

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