Showing posts from December, 2009

Christmas in Carcassonne

I'm here.  It's very very different but I already feel at home.  Carcassonne is alive, it's throbbing with vitality, people bustling along the streets weaving their way along the pavements and pausing to gaze into the brightly lit individual shops.  The start of Christmas was heralded by the torchlit procession from La Cité, people dressed in Medieval costume gripping birds of prey and brandishing terrifying instruments of torture.  A band played non stop dance music, people laughed and jostled together as onlookers leant out of windows.  I was amazed at the atmosphere and good humour of the crowd.  No health and safety in evidence here as the flaming torches bobbed up and down.  The crowd surged towards the Place Carnot where a huge ice rink encircles the marble statue of Neptune by the Italian sculpter Barata in 1771.  Dry ice floated out over the square whilst twinkling lights adorned the trees and people sat out in the pavement cafés enjoying the spectacle and soaking …