14 December 2008

Carcassonne, cathars, et cassoulet

Greetings from Sarlat-la-Caneda,
We just got back from Carcassonne and it was really nice. The castle was really interesting. The first wall was built by the Romans about 2.000 years ago and different groups made improvements to defend the city. In the 12th century the town protected the Cathars, a religious sect that critisised the lavish spending and corruption of the Catholic church. The Pope then called on the French king to stop the Cathars and forgave any sins committed against the Cathars. In 1226, the city was besieged and annexed to the king of France; the castle was then fortified and used as a strategic barrier between France and Spain. The fortifications were strong enough to deter any invaders from attacking, a threat that was no longer serious after the Spanish border moved farther West in 1659. The castle then fell into disrepair before it was restored in the 19th century.
It's an amazing town because of it's ancient history, but it has another interesting, more recent fact. It was the setting for a film that my brothers and I watched for hours as children. Any ideas? The film was set in England, not France and the courtyard in the picture above looked a lot bigger in the film.
The old city was also fun to walk through and had a lot of interesting shops. For dinner we had Cassoulet, a stew with white beans, fois gras, sausage, and duck. It was quite rich and we couldn't eat it everyday but it was very good.
I will put some pictures on Picasaweb later this week so check for that. I'll leave for Wageningen tomorrow morning and will have exams Tuesday and Wednesday.
Thanks for reading, Andrew


  1. Hello! We are looking at your blog for the first time. The Dell children, especially Andrew and Bailey are missing Amanda. They hung their beautiful ornaments, you gave them a few years ago, on the Christmas tree and commented on how much they miss seeing you. Your were such an inspiration to them.

    It sounds like you are enjoying your time in Europe. We will continue to follow you through your blog.

    The Dells

  2. Robinhood. I want my cash prize in change.p

  3. Congratulations Dan you win! Please go to your nearest Andrew and Amanda in Europe convenience store to collect your LARGE CASH PRIZE. Unfortunately we will have to reduce the total amount of your LARGE CASH PRIZE because you failed to capitalise all of the letters.

    On a similar note, I went to the robin hood castle!

    Andrew of Andrew and Amanda in Europe

  4. Just so you'll know, Dan, I thought of that answer a long time before you posted it, but I know that if Andy has to pay out a cash prize he'll probably ask me for a loan to pay it with, and I don't want to pay the exchange rate just so he can give it back to me. Make sense?

  5. I wanted to clarify that the movie is "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." I feel that since there are so many versions of the robin hood movie (from the Disney edition to the Men in Tights version) Dan's answer isn't complete enough to warrant his being named the winner. Let's hold ourselves to a higher level people.

  6. The judges rule with Pete, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is the real name of the film. This thereby disqualifies Dan from the LARGE CASH PRIZE. Of course this means that we will be keeping the LARGE CASH PRIZE.