So what's going on in the South of France this year? Quite a bit actually and I have made a start with listing some of the main events and will add more as the information becomes available. So don't forget to bookmark this post as I will be updating it as more events and details come to light.
Listed by date
May 2012 - there is a big day approaching for our little village of Issel, the Fete Medievale Des Potiers Et De L'Artisanat is due to take place on the 27 May. The streets will be dressed in medieval style and the festival will be going all day. There will be a 13th century hangman, knights, fencing demonstrations and ancient crafts. Artisans will be displaying their glass, pottery, embroidery and more. Should be a good day out for the locals.
22nd June - 5th August 2012, the festival of Carcassone offers a variety of entertainment and cultural events that take place both in the medieval walled city and the 'Ville Basse' throughout the summer months. These include 80 free modern music, jazz, circus, theatre and classical music shows. For a full program of musical and other events, the paid variety, which includes Texas, Bryan Ferry, Tom Jones, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and many more you can use this link to the Festival of Carcassonne Program. They describe the events much more eloquently than I can and it is in English.
13th July 2012, Fireworks display in the 'Grande Bassin' Castelnaudary, a precursor to Bastille Day and La Cite ablaze in Carcassonne. As far as I can tell the fireworks start after the parade at 10.30p.m. in honour of National Day, but probably worth getting there at 10.00p.m. just to make sure, or earlier if you want to see the parade. It is followed by the Spotlight Orchestra playing in the main square at around 10.45.pm. Go to Castelnaudary Tourist Office for further details.
July 2012, Festival of the Bastide in Carcassonne, this revolves around Bastille day the 14th July. A fabulous experience for anyone interested in French culture. The festival of the Bastide runs alongside the Festival of Carcassonne well known to the arts scene for its combination of opera, dance, theater and music events that take place throughout the summer months.
14th July 2012, La Cite Ablaze in Carcassonne is the big event of the Festival of the Bastide where you can see one of the best firework displays France has to offer and it commemorates the original burning of La Cite back in 1898. The banks of the river Aude will be awash with spectators and every viewpoint available will be taken by the time the display starts at 10.30p.m. It's best to park on the outskirts of the town and walk in to facilitate a reasonable exit time when the show is over.
21st August -26th August 2011, the 12th fete du Cassoulet will take place around this last week of August with 7 days of celebration and eating of cassoulet a haricot bean based casserole with Toulouse sausage, duck and pork as the usual ingredients. Everyone will be getting out their blue and white striped shirts for the festivities. This is the official website for the Fete du Cassoulet
Carcassonne: 04 68 10 24 30 email:firstname.lastname@example.org web:www.carcassonne-tourisme.com
Soreze St Ferreol: 05 63 74 16 28 email: email@example.com web:www.ville-soreze.fr
Revel St Ferreol: 05 34 66 67 68 email: firstname.lastname@example.org web:www.tourisme-revel.com
Castlenaudary: 04 68 23 05 73 email: email@example.com web:www.ville-castelnaudary.fr
You can find all the planned Vide Greniers for Aude and any other department in France using this link. Also you can visit our other page on this blog for information on all the local French food markets that operate throughout the year.
For a nice easy boat trip down the Canal du Midi you can hop on a 'bateau' down at the quay in Castelnaudary, the boat leaves daily at 2.30p.m. for a quiet chug along the canal and back that takes about 2 hours, but there are a number of other options available which you can find out about at Bateau Promenade "Le Saint-Roch" or by phoning +33 (0)4 68 23 49 40
Incidentally right next to the boat there is now a snack bar operating that hires out bicycles as a sideline, you have to put down a deposit on the bikes, which you get back as long as you don't run off with them, and the hire rates are very reasonable. So if you fancy a morning or afternoon cycling along the Canal Du Midi, you know where to go.
If you prefer to hire your own boat for a short trip then boats can be hired from Castel Nautique for 2 to 8 people on an hourly basis or for 1/2 days. Visit the website for more details or call on +33 (0)4 68 76 73 34. they are located near to Bram which is about 30 minutes drive from Le Moulin.