Orleans ~ Carcassonne
Orleans was a quick over night for us. We picked it because it was a short drive from Disneyland, knowing that we would be spending the full day there and not leaving till around 6:00pm.
It was a nice evening for a drive, and we ended up having dinner en route to our next stop. The French countryside is so beautiful. Farmers fields, sprinkled with “wind farms”. Both Brodie and I LOVE seeing this feature in Europe. It is amazing to see the innovation and thoughtfulness of putting “green energy” to use!
Our little hotel in Orleans was great. We had adjoining rooms, with a flat screen HDMI enabled TV`s, and free WI FI. Interesting how a small little hotel can accomplish this, when a huge hotel in Disney can not!
Our hotel, which is part of the Accueil Velo accommodation guide (a small group of hotels that are along the cycling roads of the Val de Loire – another trip to be planned when the kiddies are a bit older), had a great grassy area in back of the hotel, with a “merman” fountain, and running path that over looked the Loire River….. so peaceful and so beautiful! The kids, Mike and I had running races around the “merman” fountain, before heading in to get organized for the next days “monster drive” to Carcassonne.
I found a great 60`s french movie on TV, and got organized for the next days drive, all while the kiddies plugged in the HDMI in the iPad and watched their shows on TV. We all had a great nights sleep at our little hotel in Orleans.
During breakfast we met a really nice couple from Chicago. They were doing almost the same trip as us but in reverse, so it was fun to chat with them about their adventure. One thing the woman said to me when she found out we were heading to Lourdes and stuck with me was “Lourdes……… it’s a funny little town” Hmmmmmm…. now my interest was piqued!
The kids and I had more fountain races as Mike packed up our little car, and as great as the hotel was, we were off on our monster drive to Carcassonne.
The drive day was perfect…… overcast and cool.
It was about a 7 hour drive on the toll roads of France. We thought it would be an expensive day driving but it actually didn’t turn out too bad. I think it was around 20.00 euro for the entire day. One thing I LOVE about driving in Europe is the rest stops every 30KM or so. Some are just washrooms and picnic tables, with some structure built for the kids to climb on, but the BIG rest areas have gas, food, coffee, showers ect ect…… EVERYTHING you need to make your drive better, is there! I LOVE IT!
The landscape changed drastically as we headed south. We left lush green trees, rolling hills, and green fields, for a very dry and arid landscape, that was dotted with gorgeous sunflower fields and acres of grape vines.
You can see Carcassonne coming as you drive along the highway. A big beautiful castle that appears just off to the left hand side of the road. It’s just crazy to think about how long this castle has stood in that spot, keeping people totally awe-struck as they came upon it,(or came to overtake it… depending what century you were in) Regardless…. it is breathtaking!
Both kiddies were tired from long days in Disney, and both Mike and I thought they would crash for a good portion of the drive. Syd was right on cue and had a great nap while we drove. Brodie on the other hand fought sleep since he had a special treat on Mikes iPad…. season 1 of The Spectacular Spiderman. He watched every single episode of season 1!
Darth directed us to the hotel in Carcassonne without a problem….. and oh my WHAT a hotel! We were in the shadow of the castle, and with what turned out to be THE most AMAZING pool. Our “Red” room was seriously to die for. The design of each room is different and oh so über amazing! If you are EVER thinking of heading to Carcassonne this is THE place to stay…. do it without question… you will be SOOOOOO happy you did! http://www.lemontmorency.com/#/en/accueil/
When we were escorted to our room, and given the keys…. I turned to Mike and said ” I absolutely LOVE it…. but you know I’m not high maintenance” His reply…. “I know that” he said……….” I am” Gotta love a high maintenance kinda guy, who loves modern design and luxury!
Enjoy your Daily Dose
running races around the “merman”
Syd was in running “heaven”
as was Brodie
running path behind the hotel
Our Hotel….. the grassy back
Check in at the hotel……. Carcassonne France
Hotel Montmorency – Room 62
Bathroom – Syd couldn’t get enough of the tub
Bathroom looking from kids room
The castle at our doorstep – literally!
Fun at the castle….. too bad Syd was in a mood
Loving being in a real live CASTLE!