Victor Travel Blog
Chateaux de Lastours. Pays Cathare, Languedoc, France.
The whole land was filled with blood, castles were taken by storm, villages were lying in ruins, bonfires were blazing everywhere burning hundreds of people, the population was almost destroyed by the Crusader army led by Simon de Montfort hired by the pope. Did you think it happened somewhere in Palestine? No. It was Languedoc, France, which 800 years ago was named Occitania or Pays Cathare and belonged to the Cathars, people who dared to think about Jesus Christ in their own way, not according to the pope’s way. The head of the Catholic Church declared this doctrine to be the Cathar heresy and tested in Occitania a new method of getting rid of unwanted people—burning them at the stake—which would later became known as the Holy Inquisition.
Why burn people? Why not just kill them with well proven methods? Because their graves…
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Tamarind and Thyme
I happened to be browsing on my phone in Marseille when I came across an article that stated that the Cours Julien was where the young people go in the evenings. I immediately Google mapped it and to my surprise, it was not far at all from our flat, just in the opposite direction to that we’d normally instinctively go. And it turned out that the Cours Julien is a fabulous area – there are boutique shops and lots of restaurants and a big communal square and a playground. It’s a lovely place to be. We wandered around for a bit but immediately knew when we stopped in front of Le Resto Provençal that this was where we wished to dine.
And yes, their menu was full of Provençal specialities. In addition to their a la carte menu, they had two set menus and we opted to choose from their…
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Charolles is located at the confluence of the Semence and the Aronce rivers, Charolles was once the capital of Charolais once an old division of France. We visited here on a cold January day with Mike’s sister who was visiting from La Plagne.
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The Eiffel Tower was originally supposed to be in Barcelona, but the city thought it would be an eyesore, and rejected Gustave Eiffel’s plans. That meant he was forced to repitch the project elsewhere. Luckily, Eiffel found a home for his idea in Paris, where the Tower could serve as the main archway for the 1889 International Exposition.
The Tower didn’t exactly go over well with the Parisians, either. The enormous iron structure was immediately belittled by critics, and one especially harsh reviewer referred to the thing as a “metal asparagus.” The writer Guy de Maupassant had similar feelings. He famously patronized a restaurant inside the Tower because it was the one place he wouldn’t have to look at the building.
Truth be told, the Eiffel Tower wasn’t supposed to stay up for very long. In fact, it was offered for sale as scrap, and was only spared because it proved useful to the French army. (They found that its 984-foot height worked nicely as a communications tower.) Thankfully, Gustave Eiffel’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad structure has managed to endure.
Enjoy this lovely day trip to Chateau Vincennes: Chateau-Vincennes
the moveable feasts
So all the suitcases and packed bags that I need for my year-long stint in France that I leave for in about 4 days are, at this point, non-existent. I did, however have this conversation* with my mom yesterday at some huge chain store that contains everything but that shall remain unnamed:
me: Okay mom, I think I have everything I need.
Mom: (meticulously scanning everything in the aisles): oh but contact solution! Are you sure you don’t want a big container?
me: No, what I have is fine. I can get more of it when I’m there.
Mom: (taking a closer look at a brand of contact solution): But what if they don’t have contacts there…
me: …mom, I’m sure they have contacts in France.
But hey, at least she’s watching out for me, right? I’m usually pretty organized and I most definitely not a late-person, but for some…
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