Monday, July 28, 2014

First Night Alone in Carcassonne La Cite (France) and Dinner at Restaurant Le Plo

Before I start this entry I want to show you stunning Carcassonne. The city is divided into the old and the new part. Obviously the old part is the castle, the ancient walled city nicknamed by the locals as ‘La Cite’. This is where I stayed. Yep, inside the walled city =)


The medieval Carcassonne La Cite looking very much fairytale-like above the parking area of its sister city, the real-life newer city of Carcassonne.

Alone in the Auberge

I will post a separate entry of the auberge I stayed inside La Cite another time but I am glad to inform everyone that the auberge manager (perhaps he is the owner as well? I never asked) was very happy to welcome me after waiting for hours. He said that they are closing the restaurant early because they do not have a lot of guests for the evening, and moreover, he said that no one else is staying in the auberge except me. *gulp* Huh?

I looked around the auberge and inside the restaurant and realised, OH DEAR, I WILL REALLY BE ALONE TONIGHT?! *Do not panic!*


Auberge & Restaurant des Lices on a narrow alley inside La Cite. Yep, I am staying at this place alone for two nights. The auberge has only two suite rooms and only one is booked. I am the lone guest. 

‘You will be alone!’ said the auberge manager teasingly. Argh, he is not helping me a bit. I want to smack him, lol.

You know, the auberge is located in a narrow secluded street at the back of the Basilique Saint-Nazaire, away from the main road inside this stone walled ancient city. I will be liar if I tell you I was not spooked. The thought actually scared me at first. I began to worry but managed to control myself and chanted this 100x in my head, ‘Nonsense, do not be such a wimp! Nothing is going to happen to you.’

After inspecting my suite room and settling my luggage inside, I went down to the restaurant and said goodnight to the auberge manager and his crew who were busy doing last minute cleanup of the restaurant. They are ready to lock up for the night and I have been supplied with the electronic code to the front door and the key to my room. I will be going out for a little walk and then have my dinner outside. They have invited me to eat at the restaurant but I politely said not tonight. I promised them however that I will eat at the restaurant the next evening.

Dinner at Restaurant Le Plo
Address: 23 Rue de Plo near the small square with cafe and restaurant terraces

November is past the peak season so not many restaurants were open. I found Restaurant Le Plo looking fairly cosy from the outside so I decided to give it a try.

I ordered a 3-course menu. Foie gras + green salad for my starter and a grilled fish + puree for my main but exchanged the dessert for an espresso.


I ordered a glass of white wine. They gave me an aperitif from the house and a jar of water as well.


My starter: Foie gras, jellied prunes, green salad and tomatoes, and some toast.


My main: Grilled fish (forgot what this was, perhaps sea bass), puree and a grilled tomato.


I exchanged my dessert with this espresso that came with a little bar of chocolate. The next picture is the restaurant during the day.


I am quite happy with this meal thus this deserves a 4.2 stars out of 5 in my book.

Evening Stroll inside La Cite

After dinner I did a little stroll around the citadel. There were very few people out and about that evening and I knew that the place is safe but I still cannot help but be conscious with my surroundings. I am after all a lone woman travelling.

Inside the walled city the cobbled stone streets were lighted well, but they were however somewhat lonely, with an a bit eerie feel in the air as well. Except for a few visiting couples here and there I came across with, I was mainly on my own walking on the empty streets.


I am really excited for the morning to see this massive fortified ancient city!


This is the entrance city gate. Only cars with special approved access (such as people who live inside the walled city) and taxis can go inside. The city gate is equipped with a stoplight because only one vehicle can pass here one at a time.


It is very nice that they lighted the whole citadel. So stunning and magical at night.

 

One of the small squares with cafe and restaurant terraces inside the citadel.

At past 23:00 I decided it is time to call it a night and headed back to the auberge. Knowing that the auberge manager and his crew might have left for night, I started having some unexpected goosebumps.

Oh dear me. I realised I will be going back to a dark and empty auberge...

Travel Period: November 2013
Destination: Carcassonne (Languedoc-Rossillon), France

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