Foix & Carcassonne

Chasing Cathars pt.2 impregnable fortresses

Preface – the things to come

I have a writer’s block, or more precisely I would have one, if I were an actual writer. Since I am not, I had to try to figure out, why I have this fuckton of material from our trip to the South of France and not doing anything with it. So I did, and startet to find out other things as well, or at least found some more questions to ask. I’m still not sure, if this whole blogging thing is going anywhere, but I know, I have to do things differently in the future, if I want to have any chance at succeeding. The most important of them: I won’t try to be someone I’m not. I tried to be like everybody – just with more background research and better pictures. Well, almost nothing of this sentence was actually true at any given time. I won’t pretend I’m ok anymore if I’m not, so when in the future my broken body (I will tell that story one day, soon, I hope) stops me from doing stuff, I will not smile it away. If I feel uncomfortable because my subconcious is playing tricks with me, I will say that.

Looking at my work of the last 12 months I realized why I simply couldn’t write about our trip to the South of France in a meaningful way. In a way this trip was the beginning of the end, of my relationship and that soured a lot of the experiences. We have seen some amazing places, learned a lot of interesting stuff – especially about the history of religious persecution – and had some great moments in those 10 days – but in the end, almost every single one of those memories is connected to a fight we had. Trying to write about it, like I normally do, as a mix of personal storytelling, nerdy history facts and value-adding tips & tricks; simply didn’t work. In earlier attempts I had to constantly fight tears, mourning all those lost opportunities to be happy together, to communicate, to love.

Damn, here we go again.

Anyway. Even if the stories I have to tell these days aren’t the classical feel-good-travel-is-great-yay-stories, I still like a lot of the photos and I think they deserve the chance to be seen.


Foix is one of those proto-typical French country towns with a medieval castle high on a hill, a nice plaza in the centre and a bad tourist-trap restaurant with the arrogant waiter to match. The latter was the only one we met on the whole trip, the time when the French would treat you like the clueless yokel you are, are over. Everyone was extremelely welcoming and most even spoke English, before they let me butcher their mother tongue.


Every German who ever played a tabletop game has heard the name of our next stop; Carcassonne. But not only is it a great game, the actual place is quite breathtaking. One thing that sets it apart from other medieval fortresses is the sheer size of the thing. The fortress itself is only a small part of the whole, actually it’s Cité for a good reason; the whole village surrounding the castle was preserved as well, with parts of the wall dating back to the Romans. I never felt so close to being able to imagine how life must’ve been 800 years ago, as I felt there. It’s all still there; residential buildings, stables, the armory, 100s of buildings . Considering the fact how many visitors were there on a cloudy day in May, I guess in the main season it will be pretty much unbearable, so I would try to go very early in the morning.

Gallery Carcassonne

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