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  • Carcassonne: A journey to the Middle Ages

    Nestled in the picturesque landscape of southern France, the fortified city of Carcassonne stands as a testament to the region's rich history and architectural brilliance. With its imposing walls, narrow cobblestone streets, and enchanting medieval atmosphere, Carcassonne is a destination that transports visitors back in time. A must visit for board game lovers, especially those playing Carcassonne - game inspired by the medieval fortress in southern France. I started my visit to Carcassonne with a walk from the train station to the medieval old town, thanks to which I had the opportunity to see the charming cafes in the center and visit the art fair in the old church. Carcassonne is renowned for its remarkable medieval fortifications, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has captured the imagination of travelers for centuries. As you approach the medieval city, the sight of the double-walled fortress rising dramatically from the landscape is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The outer wall, with its 52 towers and imposing gates, encloses the inner citadel, creating a mesmerizing labyrinth of stone and history. When you step through the grand entrance of Carcassonne you will find yourself immersed in a world of knights, royalty, and ancient tales. As you stroll along, you'll encounter charming shops, boutiques, and cafés nestled within the ancient buildings. Take your time to admire the intricate details of the architecture, from the weathered stone facades to the ornate balconies adorned with vibrant flowers. Since I had an incredible craving for delicious French crepes, I stopped for lunch at Crêperie le blé noir. The Château Comtal, a medieval castle situated within the walls, invites to explore its towers, ramparts, and cute inner courtyard. I climbed to the top of the towers for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Inside, the Musée de la Cité showcases a collection of artifacts and exhibits that provide insights into the city's storied past. Beyond its medieval allure, Carcassonne boasts a vibrant cultural scene that adds depth to its historical charm. The city is renowned for its summer festivals, including the prestigious Festival de Carcassonne, which brings together world-class musicians, performers, and artists for unfo Dominicans Chapel. A visit to Carcassonne is an invitation to step into the pages of history and immerse yourself in the magic of a bygone era. From its majestic fortifications to its charming medieval streets, the city exudes an indescribable charm that captivates visitors. Whether you are an board game lover, architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a unique and enchanting experience, Carcassonne is a destination that promises to leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul. Come, wander through its storied streets, and let the spirit of Carcassonne transport you to medieval times. I will be definitely coming back soon!

  • New hot spot for foodies in Valencia

    If you're a food lover or someone who appreciates the art of culinary craftsmanship and unusual architecture, new culinary baby in town - Mercader Cabanyal in Valencia - is a must-visit hot spot. Market is located in the century-old building of Soler Cooperage just at the gate to sea-side Cabanyal district. This district has recently become a trendy neighborhood where more and more often you can eat in good restaurants and grab a coffee in a cozy and artsy cafes. You can read more about my favorite neighborhood in Valencia - El Cabanyal -in the next post. This is where I live in Valencia, so I'm glad that new interesting places like Mercader are being created on the culinary map of the district. The philosophy that has governed the intervention on the building and its interior design has been to "restore, recover and reuse". A group of local artists and interior designers have been responsible for giving new life to this project. That is why the market is not only a culinary experience but also a beautiful example of giving a second life to a long unused building. I hope more projects like this will take place in Cabanyal! With its fusion of tradition and innovation, dedication to seasonal ingredients, and exquisite menu offerings, this hidden gem provides an unforgettable dining experience. Source: fromjourneywithlove TikTok account, music: Aitana, Las Babys So, the next time you find yourself in Valencia, take a detour to the vibrant neighborhood of Cabanyal and immerse yourself in the flavors and ambiance of Mercader Cabanyal. Your taste buds will thank you. And after good food, just a few minutes walk to the beach!

  • Occitanie - a Perfect Southern French Adventure

    The south of France is so peaceful. People speak softly, walk slowly. Even seagulls fly calmly overhead as if in slow motion. It's too hot to think, you just want to do nothing, sweet idleness. Or maybe you can just sit in the shade of a palm tree and watch those madmen who still want to walk on this hot May day. Since this is not my first time in France, I decided to visit the less popular part of its southern coast, the Occitania region. At the far end of the coast, the famous Cannes Festival takes place at the end of May and I wanted to avoid the crowds. In Occitania I experienced peace and French "l'art de ne rien faire". "l'art de ne rien faire" - the art of doing nothing Nestled in the southern part of France, Occitania is a region brimming with captivating history, stunning landscapes, and a unique cultural heritage. Encompassing a significant part of the country, from the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean coast, Occitania offers a delightful blend of ancient traditions, picturesque towns, and breathtaking natural wonders. My 3 favorite places during this visit were: Narbonne, Carcassonne and Montpellier. These vibrant cities offer a delightful mix of rich history, stunning architecture, delectable cuisine, and a vibrant contemporary culture. I fell in love with this region, saw beautiful places and met fascinating people. Below are five things I liked most about Occitania. A Historical Tapestry Occitania bears witness to a fascinating past, steeped in historical significance. With roots tracing back to the Roman Empire, the region served as a crossroads of cultures and a melting pot of influences. From the magnificent medieval city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the ancient Roman town of Nîmes and the captivating Albi Cathedral, Occitania offers an array of architectural marvels that transport visitors to bygone eras. Captivating Cultural Festivals: Occitania's vibrant calendar of cultural festivals provides an opportunity to experience the region's lively spirit. One of the most famous celebrations is the Feria de Nîmes, where the streets come alive with traditional bullfighting, parades, music, and dancing. Similarly, the Festival Internacional de Música de Besalú, held in the medieval town of Besalú, offers a mesmerizing blend of classical, traditional, and contemporary music. These festivals not only showcase the region's cultural heritage but also foster a sense of community and shared joy. Natural Splendors Nature lovers will find themselves in awe of Occitania's diverse landscapes. From the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees to the golden beaches of the Mediterranean coast, the region is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers can explore the stunning beauty of the Cévennes National Park or the picturesque Gorges du Tarn, while cyclists can pedal through the breathtaking vineyards of the Languedoc region. Occitania's natural wonders offer opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable memories. Gastronomic Delights No visit to Occitania is complete without indulging in its delectable cuisine. The region boasts a rich culinary heritage, influenced by its Mediterranean and Catalan neighbors. From hearty cassoulet and aromatic bouillabaisse to savory duck confit and exquisite wines, Occitania tantalizes taste buds with its diverse flavors. It's also easy to find plenty of vegetarian options as well as freshly squeezed juices and smoothies. Farmers' markets, market halls and local food festivals provide a chance to savor the freshest regional produce and discover the unique gastronomic traditions passed down through generations. People People of Occitania embody a unique blend of warmth, cultural pride, resilience, and a deep connection to their land. I liked how they cultivate their traditions, how they take care of the smallest details. Despite the language barrier, they are smiling and willing to help. Everywhere I was warmly welcomed and felt comfortable. In the next post I will tell you more about the places I visited in Occitania. À bientôt!

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