BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Goodbye Pezenas, hello Carcassonne.


So our overnight stop in Pezenas turned into a week long stay but we escaped today. It was a great week though, Pezenas is a wonderful place.

Cyril checked us in to the hotel when we arrived but unfortunately it was his day off today and we missed him. Or so we thought. As we packed our bike he appeared and helped us carry our stuff to the garage. It was good to say our goodbyes as Cyril was really kind to us during our stay, he looked after us exceptionally well, even provided some orange juice when we were ill. Thanks Cyril.

Our new mate Cyril out side Hotel Mouliniere.

We couldn't go without a quick look around the markets again. We were hoping that our little pig friend would be there, but unfortunately he wasn't, so Suzanne had to do with cuddling a couple of kittens.

Another new friend.

We climbed on the Big Mykolajenko Wheelbarrow at about 12 with the sat nav set to avoid motorways. We only had 1
13 km to travel to Carcassonne so we were happy to take our time. We trundled along some picturesque back roads through amazing little villages that probably haven't changed for centuries.

 With weather very similar to the south west of WA, wine grapes are big business around here.

 We rode alongside a canal for quite sometime, and it was full of large boats. Nothing like the canal boats in the UK.

Might have to come back in Spring time. 

 More vines, and snow capped mountains in the background.

Now that's better than any motorway.

As we rode into Carcassonne the main feature of the town was very obvious. It's the old walled city. Apparently this is the largest, complete, walled city in Europe. I can imagine people from here saying "Call that a walled city? This is a walled city!" Oh yeah. We'll be there tomorrow. We did manage to get a photo at night as we looked for a restaurant.

it's a pretty impressive sight as you roll into town.

We rolled up to the hotel we thought we would stay in. No way! It was a really dodgy looking place, next to a motorway, and wasn't that cheap. So we did what any self respecting, motorcycle touring couple would do. We found a bar.

We saw the F1 bar from the road, but had a few problems actually getting to it. After a lap around the block, and a few side streets, I found a tiny little street and turned into it. I was going very slowly, too slowly obviously, because the bike stalled. I think I had every muscle maxed out to hold the bike up as it tried it's hardest to lie down. Suzanne even stuck her arm out against the wall to support us, Thanks Suzette. It's the closest we've come to dropping the bike this trip. Anyway, we found a spot to park, in the Police car park next to the bar. I'm sure they didn't mind, too much.

We sat and ad a few drinks. Yes, mine was coke because I still had some riding to do. 

The F1 bar / cafe. Formula 1 themed,
as the name would suggest. 

Concrete, and bolted to the ground.
In Australia it would still get stolen. 

 Our Mark cracked a mention in the line-up.

Interior decor. 

Suzanne hunts down our bed for the night.

Suzanne searched the web and found an Ibis Hotel, right in town, that was a lot cheaper than the dodgy place we looked at. Score! It's about a ten minute walk to the walled city, and there was a Christmas market across the road. Perfect.

 Christmas markets are big in Europe.

 Lots of stuff for the kids,
and us grown ups.

 This Christmas tree was visible for miles.

 Reindeer rides.
I'm not too sure which one this is.
Maybe Prancer?


 Incredible carousel.

 A mini roller coaster.

 Nutso Reindeer.

The kids loved the mini roller coaster.

Then it was dinner time and we discovered a cheap little cafe a few doors from our hotel. I love Europe. Dogs are treated so well here. You can take your dog everywhere. Cafes, restaurants, hotel stays, whatever. It's very civilised, unlike our draconian laws at home. I'd rather share a cafe with most dogs than some kids and people I know. 

Dinner guest at the next table.

We were both still a bit seedy with our colds so we had another early night and were back in the hotel by ten. We then had desert. Yup, you guessed it. Kinder Pinguis.

Oh no! I've just realised we've run out.  We'll have to go shopping first thing tomorrow.

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