Playing Carcassonne in Carcassonne

I was one of the first people awake in my hostel, trying to quietly get ready to prepare for my day trip from Toulouse out into the fortified medieval city of Carcassonne. After two and a half hours worth of metro, bus and train rides, I finally arrived at the train station in Carcassonne.

I found a girl, Manli, who was around my age studying the big map on the wall. Figuring that she was a tourist looking for the medieval city, I said hi, and asked if she was indeed heading to the castle. She said yes, so we agreed to go together. Then, another guy, Stephen, approached us and asked if he could join us.

So the three of us left the train station together, excited to finally see medieval Carcassonne. We toured the fortified city walls and the city within, which held a beautiful cathedral, castles, and small gardens, along with restaurants serving traditional cassoulet and other food from Southern France.

It was incredible how people centuries ago had the technology and the knowledge to build the extensive castle walls and high cathedrals. Even the gutter system on the pathways by the walls were well-designed, with the water flowing out of the city walls and into the grassy fields beneath it.

Afterwards, we ate lunch at one of the many quaint restaurants in the center of the medieval city. Since I was in France, I figured I needed to try the cassoulet, which consisted of white beans, sausage, and duck. The first couple bites were great, and then the beans started getting kind of dry and hard to swallow. But it was extremely filling and kept me warm, because France in January is not the most comfortable place to be, temperature-wise.

During lunch, Steve introduced my to this board game called Carcassonne, named after the city of Carcassonne (obviously!), where you compete with your opponents to gain the most territory. He actually had the game on his phone, so we ended up playing Carcassonne in Carcassonne.

Through this experience, I discovered how amazing traveling alone can be, because you meet other people who are also looking for a bit of adventure and who are eager to explore. Plus, I now get to tell people I’ve played Carcassonne in Carcassonne!

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