Saturday, February 20, 2016
Petit Train de la Cité in Carcassonne, France
MR and I decided to take the tour of the fortress by the tourist train before actually going in. I looked online for reviews and not all were positive. Some people mentioned their disappointment; I personally thought it was a great idea.
Carcassonne has always been popular and well-known, but much more these past years.
I was talking with Japanese clients at work one day and one of them mentioned that his family was coming from Japan for the summer break. He described his itinerary, including Carcassonne, which he talked about with much enthusiasm. Then he told me all about Kate Mosse (not the supermodel) and her books. How the hell did I know not about this?!? Apparently the novel was turned into a mini-series which has put Carcassonne to another level. Cool!
So obviously it turned out I didn't know much about Carcassonne.
But we learned a lot from the information that were shared during the train tour.
For 7.50 Euros per adult and 4 Euros for children, we went around the exterior of the fortress (about 3 kilometers / 20 minutes). We were given headphones each and the comments were translated in different languages. Perfect.
After waiting a couple of minutes for the train to be full, we were off.
Because the train was going quite slow and even stopped at times, we were able to really appreciate the beauty of the castle.
We also drove in town and I was surprised to see how dead the town was. Lots of houses, but not a lot of opened shops. I guess the activity only happens inside the fortress.
The tour continued until we were back to the starting point.
I'm not sure how many tourist trains there are, but I know there's more than one. That's good since they tend to fill up pretty quickly.
Some might complain that 7 Euros is expensive for a train ride. Perhaps it is, but I thought it was worth it. You should know that if the tourist train is not your thing, there are also guided tours of the castle as well as a horse-drawn carriage.