|Judy, Lynn, Janis, Clark on the way to buy tickets at Castelnaud|
We're slow to get started, not that it matters, the castle only opens at 10, and the day starts out foggy.
|View out our bedroom window. Notice how thick the walls are.|
We start with a picnic lunch in the parking lot.
|Our picnic spot at the parking lot.|
Janis, Clark, Dave and I use our "amis de Castelnaud" cards that let us in free, woo-hoo! Judy has to pay (boo-hoo). They head off to do the tour in proper order while I go find a spot in the shade to do needlework while I wait for them.
|Doing needlework with a view.|
|my view from the terrace where I was doing my needlework. The view never gets old.|
I figure I have at least twice more in my future to catch parts I've not seen before. And of course we do all see things we missed the first time. For one thing, things are gearing up for the season and there are more activities going on.
|Looking out from the ramparts|
|Looking down from the ramparts|
|Hey, we've never seen the castle from this spot before. (We were 50 feet closer last time.)|
|View through a house gate outside the castle walls.|
In the courtyard where I'm stitching, there is now a "forgeron" (blacksmith) demonstrating how various iron items - arrowheads, nails, and tools - were created.
|Blacksmith making a nail.|
In another part of the courtyard, young children are being taught how to sword-fight. Tours of the outer areas of the castle and trebuchet (model catapult) demonstrations are given on a schedule.
|Not a young knight learning to sword fight, but perhaps the princess for whom he will fight?|
There are a LOT more people here today and it's a Tuesday in April. I can't imagine what the summer months must be like.
At one point, the 4 amigos appear at the top of the ramparts and I'm able to capture their picture from my location in the courtyard.
|Clark, Janis, Judy and Dave from the ramparts|
|How far up from my terrace they really were.|
After leaving the castle, Janis, Clark, Judy & Dave walk down to the church in town while I get an ice cream in a shady cafe. The temperature is now in the low 80s.
|the church in Castelnaud|
|my ice cream|
Done with the castle, we head out to see if we can find the postcard viewpoint on an adjacent hill behind the castle. Instead we stumble first on narrow roads
|the road less traveled|
Then onto Chateau Lacoste, a private chateau which played an important part in WWII as a secret meeting place of the Resistance forces.
|Chateau Lacoste from the distance|
Home at a reasonable hour, Janis and I cook the lamb we bought and marinated in the morning. Yum. Oh, and for those of you keeping track of the fireplace wine bottle collection, here's an updated photo.
|Our garden seen from above|
|Our leg of lamb after the butcher butterflied it and before Janis marinated it|
|Our leg of lamb after cooking. Bones are in the freezer for making soup|
|The current wine bottle collection. Note the new artistic design.|