After my visit to Switzerland in 1972, my next destination on my itinerary was France. I ended up leaving southwestern Germany where I was staying with my half-sister, took a train through Alsace on the way to southern France. This route took me down the Rhone River valley and on to Arles before heading west to Narbonne on the Mediteranean coast. From there I caught a train heading inland to the city of Carcassonne which was my first destination. The old fortified city dates from the time of the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe originating from the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea that settled this area and on south into Spain. The Visigoths left their homeland during the movement of various tribes into what was left of the Roman Empire. The walls were restored in the mid-19th Century. There was a television program that I watched in the early 1960s about a war between the English and the French (Black Prince). Carcassonne was the setting for this program. I was intrigued enough to want to see the place firsthand. Google to find out more!
Here's a view of the typical countryside in southwestern France. It was overcast weather but warm, not ideal weather for taking photos but I did my best.
Here's a view of the castle which I ended up taking a tour through and a view of the River Aude with the old city of Carcassonne in the background.
And what would France be without vineyards!
After my stop in Carcassonne it was off to Paris and then Strasbourg, Alsace in eastern France. I took no photos in Paris (it was pouring rain when I arrived at my hotel on the Rue de Gramont) but I did take a walk the next day in the old streets of Paris before heading off to Strasbourg where I did take quite a few interesting photos. The weather in Paris was starting to get better as I left. Its known for its rainy weather because of its proximity to the English Channel and the weather systems coming off the Atlantic Ocean. You'll see the photos of Strasbourg next. Meantime, enjoy these!! - V