with stops in Carcassone and the Pyrénées

Touring the Cathédrale Saint-Étienne

  1. Cathédrale Saint-Étienne

I did go a little wild with the colors on this one but the rainbow on the left is a real lens artifact hah

  1. Wild colors on the Gargoyles
  • Stained glass
  • Gargoyles

We ate so many delicious pastries on the trip

  1. Pastries
  1. Citron Meringuée
Old buildings, narrow streets
  1. The Capitol


Carcassonne is a beautiful and historic city in the south of France, known for its stunning medieval fortifications and charming old town. The city is situated on a hilltop and is surrounded by impressive double walls and 52 towers, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The old town within the walls is a maze of narrow streets, lined with quaint shops, cafes, and houses for the few full time residents.

  1. Carcassone Castle
Carcassone turret
  1. Carcassone streets
  2. Carcassone streets 2
  • Pottery shop
  • Pottery shop 2
Carcassone Cathederal
  1. Carcassone Buildings
  2. Moat to inner walls

We stopped for lunch in the Michelin-starred restaurant La Barbacane and had a wonderful meal.

  1. La Barbacane Restauraunt Grounds
  2. La Barbacane Restauraunt Grounds 2

Time to tour the castle walls!

  1. Castle wall tour
  1. Castle Model
  1. From the ramparts
Lots of ancient statues
  1. La Barbacane grounds

Would love to see a concert here!

  1. Great place for a concert
  1. Nice view for defending
  1. Carcassone Cathedral
  1. Carcassone Walls
  1. Duck party


Back in Toulouse the next day we went for a walk around the city and soaked in some of the sights

  1. Classy shave with coffee
  1. Art museum
  1. Pont Neuf

Couvent des Jacobins

  1. Light streaming through the stained glass
  1. Couvent des Jacobins interior
Couvent des Jacobins interior 2
  1. Couvent des Jacobins courtyard

  1. Vintage cameras
  1. Delicious lunch spot

We went on a canal tour expecting it to go one way to a part of the city we hadn’t been to yet, but right after the boat set off we realized it was going the opposite direction. 15 minutes after we thought it’d be done the boat turned around and thankfully returned us to where we started at least. Going south was very peaceful with lots of boats lining the shores.

  • Canal boats
  • Canal boats 2
  1. Down the canal
  1. Nice day for a canal walk
Repeating Trees
  1. Canal houseboats
  2. Canal garden


A short drive away from Toulouse are the Pyrénées mountains with lots of hikes and skiing in the winter. We stopped in the small town of Cazaux and then went for a hike to the Lac d’Oô.

  1. Cazaux view

  • Butterflies
  • and Snails
  1. Starting the hike to Lac d'Oô
  1. Long ways up to go
  1. Waterfall streaking down the mountain
  1. Looking down the valley
  1. Almost to the lake
  1. Water control station
  1. The view we've been waiting for
  1. Waterfall feeding the lake


  1. Spring blooms
  1. Lunch with wine
  1. Tour of the garden
  1. Toulouse Grand Rond
  1. Jardin Royal Sculpture
  1. Pont Neuf Views
Dinner with wine sampling
  1. Nice night out
  1. Pretty Cafes
  1. Basilique Saint-Sernin
Basilique Saint-Sernin interior
  1. Streets of Toulouse
  1. Sandyan pâtisserie
  1. Sandyan pâtisserie 2
  2. Sandyan pâtisserie 3
  1. Sandyan pâtisserie breads

One of our stops was getting produce at the Victor Hugo Market. The vegetables were outside, but inside you could find almost anything you want, so long as it’s meat or cheese.

  1. Fromage
  1. Sausage
  1. Spices

Halle de la Machine

The Halle de la Machine museum is a mechanical menagerie that houses a variety of massive animatronic creatures. While we were there they had the Minutaur giving rides, the giant spider indoors, and a whole host of smaller machines for making art or music that they were demoing. Steampunk and Matrix fans alike would love it here

  1. Minotaure
  1. Drawings 1
  2. Drawings 2
  1. Art machine
  2. Friendly critter
  3. Spider guts
Bird sound machine

This next machine is hooked up to an audio sequencer to control the flames so they fire to the beat and become a rhythm section.

  1. Creating beats with the fire pipes
  1. Guitar machine
  2. Brass machine
  1. Mr. Spider
  1. Very Matrix-esque
  1. Time for dinner
  1. Target Practice
  2. Target Practice 2
  1. Part of the mechanical orchestra
Flying machine

Who doesn’t love the sound of car horns? Especially when played as a musical instrument?

  1. Car Horn machine
  1. Mechanical Orchestra whirring
  1. Wine bottle pipes
  1. Auto guitar strummer
  1. Prototype machine
  1. Prototype spider
  1. Basilisk miniature
  1. Deus Ex Machina
  • Intricately carved bear
  • Giraffe Armature
  1. Lathe inspired Machinery

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