I remember it as if it were yesterday / 9

Another place that remains sharp in my mind are the Cathar castles of Lastours, visited nearly nine years ago. Most impressive, as there is a group of four castles strung about the hillside on a rocky spine high above the village of Lastours, not too far north of Carcassonne.

I had done some research beforehand, as I knew I couldn’t do too much tramping about, so I needed to ensure the distance was manageable. In those days I could still do a mile or two provided I rested reasonably frequently, but I had too be careful as my balance was beginning to become compromised.

We set off to find the Montfermier Belvedere, which would give a good view of the castles, and you can really appreciate the loction:

Chateaux de Lastours, Quertinheux is the bottom one, closest to camera

Then it would be necessary to park up in Lastours village, walk up to the visitor centre and then on up rocky paths to Quertinheux.

Walking up through the village

We were told to look for an old textile factory,

then we would come to the visitor centre and the track up to the castles:

I left my companions behind at this point, as they weren’t up for the slog! I was specifically looking for a view from Quertinheux, because I knew there was a good view of two of the other castles from there.

I would have liked to see all the castle ruins, but knew I could only manage one, and Quertinheux was the closest.

Getting a bit closer here, the track to Quertinheux is to the right, ahead are Surdespine and Cabaret. For me, it was a real slog, and I had to rest for a while. The path was narrow, and the drops fairly vertiginous in places:

I took that path to Quertinheux, no railings and a bit tricky, I crawled the last part, as I was too worried about falling..and there in front of me was the view I came for, seen through an archway in the castle wall.

I spent a fair amount of time at that castle keep to collect my wits and my strength

This is that well-known, often reproduced view:

View out from the Quertinheux ramparts (to Tour Régine, and furthest away, Cabaret

On my way back, the sky was less grey, and I got this image:

All in all, a great day…time and energy well spent! And I’m so pleased I did it while I still could.

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25 comments

  1. For a change, places I have also visited. I love that area around Carcassonne. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Well done, that looks quite a steep walk. But worth it for the beautiful photos

  3. Pat

    Hurrah for you, Sue. You inspire me to try traveling somewhat more challenging places. I worry about not having the energy and doing the walking will cause crippling pain. There are some European tours I would really like to do.

  4. I’m glad you did, too, Sue. I imagine people in that area don’t get too fat with that sort of walking. 🙂

    janet

  5. Looks like quite a place to visit. I have never heard about the Cathar castles of Lastours, but I will keep it in mind for future visits. Thank you for taking us along, Sue.

    • Sue

      Thanks, Otto! Were I taking the photos now, I might have tried to get a lone person in shoot, but come to think of it, there were very few people around that day…. Most people go to Carcasonne! You should go to Lastours….

  6. Those tree spires are as beautiful as the castles. The framed photo is a winner. And you are a role model in pushing on as far as you can – you shame me.

  7. I’m so happy for you that you went all the way when you could, Sue. Well done! You brought home some very good images, the two last ones are stunning.

  8. That’s an area I’d like to visit, lovely photos Sue.

  9. And I really admire your determination Sue.

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