Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Castle Tour

It rained all night and the weather appeared to be a little unsettled, so we decided to take a drive to see 2 obscure Cathar Castles:

- Miglos: This castle was a few km from Nauix. It was build by a family of Cathar sympathizers and later razed by Cardinal Richelieu. Its easy to find and you can park within 50 feet of the castle. It is surrounded by a fence to preserve what is left. We had the place to ourselves and there was no charge to tour the place.

- Montreal de Sos: This castle is above the small and charming village of Olbier. We parked about 500 meters downhill from the village and walked up. The weather had taken a remarkable turn for the better by this time. We saw about 8 people in the village, who all were polite and said Bonjour and all that. There are subtle signs for the castle, and we followed them up the hill, through a small cave and eventually to ruins. Montreal de Sos is actually a Templar chateau. According to the Rough Guide, "the Templars were responsible for many pilgrims' hospices in the Pyrenees, but became too rich for the liking of the Catholic Church and its allies, who in 1307 accused them of corruption, heresy and sexual depravity, tortured their leaders and finally burnt them to death." Hmm, OK. The views of Olbier (shown below), Auzat and Vicdessos were incredible from the Chateau. We were alone at this place too, and were free to walk around what remained of the structures.

We drove to Foix and had lunch at a Brasserie run by an English couple called La Boutique a Croustades. I had the Croustades, a local delicacy that featured goat cheese. Kay had quiche with asparagus.


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