February 9th, 2017 / posted by paularath

So here we are, in Carcassonne, France, spending a month taking care of two cats, Badoit and Pelegrina.

How did this come about? Our friends David and Mike just moved to Carcassonne in January, after years of researching where they wanted to settle in retirement. The only problem: They had signed up for a cruise to Antarctica with my sister Berta and her husband Jim that sailed in early February. What to do about the cats? They knew they would not have any close friends in France within a matter of weeks so they sought out cat sitters before leaving Hawaii. And of course we volunteered!

Mike and David’s home in Carcassonne.

So we packed up all of our winter clothes (and I borrowed a pea coat from my dear friend Chris Oliver – thank goodness, because February is the coldest month in southern France and it is very cold and rainy and windy) and are enjoying the beauty and the wines and foods of France. There have only been a few days when it was really too cold for us to go out and explore or paint.

A typical little walkway in La Cite. For one who wishes to learn to paint rock walls and cobblestones, this is heaven!

Carcassonne is best known for its medieval walled city, referred to as La Cite. This magnificent UNESCO Heritage site is about a half hour’s walk from Mike and David’s home. Needless to say, it is a sketcher’s paradise. While it is too cold to sit and sketch en plein air, we take photos and bring them home to sketch and paint.

The exterior of the walled medieval La Cite by day.

Thanks to Jerry’s amazing ability to drive (a manual shift Peugeot) almost anywhere and find his way, we are doing day trips in the magnificent vine-covered countryside. We will visit tiny villages and Cathar castles, among other sites.

The Languedoc region is renowned for its wines (and foods) and we are learning and enjoying so much. I will be blogging regularly now. Sorry it’s been so long coming. I have faced numerous technical  difficulties with my laptop and only got them solved yesterday.

We also stopped in New York for four days and I have some lovely photos of the Met’s Costume Institute exhibit to share with you.

Please stay tuned for more from France and New York….oh, and Amsterdam!

  • Paula Rath
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