Awaken to Limoux, France

Bonjour my friends,

With all this recent quilt talk I seem to have put aside the real treasures in life, such as the little French village of Limoux. So we’re going there today if you’re not doing anything else in particular.

Limoux is located in the south of France- nestled in the beautiful Langedoc Rouissillon area on the river Aude, about twenty miles from Carcassone. You will recall this beautiful walled city in

https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/awakening-to-carcassone-france/

From Carcassone it’s a quick train trip through some of France’s most beautiful countryside so why not travel by train and enjoy the breath taking scenery?

Now Limoux  does not have the imposing fortifications and heavy structured double walls of its neighbouring Carcassone, but it remains tough and resilient enough ( like some of us) as you would expect being located smack bang in the heart of  Cathar fighting territory. Home to toughened inhabitants like the brawny hard as nails rugby team for instance who take great pride in being affectionately known as the ‘Limoux Grizzlies’!

Even the tough know how to celebrate though and you can see Limoux in its true playful form during France’s longest Carnivale -the Limoux Carnival which lasts for three solid months of the year. This is when everyone (big and small) gets into party mode, dancing and singing and generally parading around in a eclectic mixture of medieval and modern garb. Check out the lengths that some Limoux entertainers go to as these glamorous and creative costumes are worthy of any opera house you’ll agree.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuBk9iyAeT8&feature=related

Limoux residents have been doing this for centuries, but over time they’ve forgotten why they party for this long during the Winter months and that’s the real beauty of it all. The confetti throwing parade enters the main square and weaves its way in and out of shops and cafes, led by a wand carrying pierrot (or clown) and accompanying musicians, all set to involve onlookers and entertain all. Good ol’ fashion fun is contagious. Take a look..  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3gWMO8Il7k&feature=related

Fun is definately a memory worth keeping so if you land in Limoux on some cold Wintry day, anytime from January to Easter, you’l be in for a real treat. Be warned though, wear your party dress!

Yes, Limoux and its surrounds  has its own unique appeal worthy of any tourist or local alike. In the south, Limoux’s valley is enriched with forests. It offers plenty of walking and cycling trails, skiing, horseback riding, canoe, rent a houseboat and so on. Further south, a town called Esperanza has not only a great Sunday market but a quirky hat museum known as the Musee de la Chapellerie. It was Europe’s largest producer of felt hats in the whole of Europe and it’s modern website is found at:

http://www.audecathare.fr/musee/musee_chapellerie.htm

One and half hours further south from here, you’ve hit Barcelona! There’s a lot to see and do around Limoux. My French awakening discovered that the oldest production of French bubbly originated in 1531 in the bowels of the stony Benedictine Abbey of St Hilaire just outside Limoux…

A visit to the Abbey is a must. Their sparkling wine (lovingly known as ‘Blanquette de Limoux’) was produced way before champagne in Burgandy and was actually rediscovered by President Thomas Jefferson in 1794, who was so taken with the bubbly (as one does) that he kept his cellar stocked with Blanquette for years later. Obviously a great French wine connoisseur, he alone was charged with the responsibility of selecting these French wines for the White House at the request of George Washington!

Today you can douse yourself with Blanquette de Limoux for only $14 per bottle- a fraction of the cost of the champagne houses of Burgandy which you may recall here… https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/awaken-to-french-champagne/

Arhh Limoux, you’re sounding better all the time, don’t you think?

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese

copyright@2011 Therese Waddell

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One Response to “Awaken to Limoux, France”

  1. […] My French Awakening Travel Stories, Quilts and All Things French « Awaken to Limoux, France […]

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