France: Part II - Chateaux de Lastours and Minerve

As I mentioned in the previous post, the house we rented was in the Languedoc-Roussillion region of France. More precisely, we were in the middle of the Pays du Cathare (Cathar country). The area is known for the many Cathar ruins, many dating back as far as the 1300s. One of the best remaining ruins was a mere 4 miles from our house, Chateaux de Lastours. So, we figured this would be a great way to ease on into our trip. We'll take a ride, check out some ruins/castles, mozy around and then have lunch. Easy peasy. Not so much. The ruins were at the top of a rather high summit which would involve some hiking. We strapped the kidlet into her backpack and away we went. Up, up and up. About 45 minutes later, we finally reached the top and the view was worth the burning legs and sweaty t-shirt. 

Next on the agenda, after a lengthy lunch of course, was a visit the town of Minerve. The town was built on top of a skinny peninsula-shaped plateau where the walls of the town were built right up against the drop off into a deep gorge. There was one way into the town, and that was over a rather stunning arched stone bridge. It was pretty striking to see. This would never pass any sort of zoning in the US. Wandered around for a while, and then got a crepe and a coffee. When in Rome, er, Minerve.

 Looking out over the ruins. Lastours

Looking out over the ruins. Lastours

 View from halfway up. Lastours

View from halfway up. Lastours

 I like your hair, Mommy. Lastours

I like your hair, Mommy. Lastours

 Big cheesin'. Lastours

Big cheesin'. Lastours

 Hills. Lastours

Hills. Lastours

 Rocks and ruins. Lastours

Rocks and ruins. Lastours

 Cave. Lastours

Cave. Lastours

 Ruins and trees on the way back down. Lastours

Ruins and trees on the way back down. Lastours

 Minerve

Minerve

 Bridge. Minerve

Bridge. Minerve

 Shop sign. Minerve

Shop sign. Minerve

 Church wall. Minerve

Church wall. Minerve

 Chateaux Minerve.

Chateaux Minerve.

 Crepe with nutella. Minerve

Crepe with nutella. Minerve

 Crepe and signs. Minerve

Crepe and signs. Minerve

 Walking along the gorge. Minerve

Walking along the gorge. Minerve

 Heading home. Minerve

Heading home. Minerve

Next up: France: Part III - Collioure