When we realized the hours of driving it would take us to get from Congenies to Bordeaux, we decided to leave a day earlier than scheduled and break the journey into two days.
A few weeks ago my sweet French neighbor I’m Quakertown gave me two copies of France Magazine. One featured “the prettiest town in France” as Cordes-su-Ciel and on a whim I circled it on the map. Guess what…it’s sort of half way. We made a B&B reservation and off we went .
David mentioned a place we’d drive close by enroute to Cordes he thought we’d like. He jotted down the name on a piece of paper and we had no idea what it was–a lake, a cairn, a park??
La Couvertoirade is a UNESCO site once inhabited by the Knights Templar. It looked like it was just off the main road so we decided, “What the heck–lets take a quick look!”
Honestly, we were stunned 1)that there was actually a village in a remote mid-Pyrenees area, and 2) other people knew about it, including a tour bus full of Brits. But on this day the artisans had their shops open and we strolled through a virtually empty village, enjoying the shops and marveling at the fortress.
Most of the shops were small structures with arched ceilings that sometimes seemed low by today’s standards. Potters, ateliers, metal smiths, and textile merchants were strewn amongst the cobbled streets. People also live in this village. I didn’t know you could live in a UNESCO site.
During lunch in a cozy creperie we chatted with a Welsh couple who told us there is a wide ring of these medieval settlements in this part of France, all part of the Knights Templar history. Carcassonne is part of that ring .
A few hours later we were back in the car, instructing Sophie GPS to avoid the toll roads. Read the next blog for our destination!