Usually I’m chained to my desk and don’t get into town on weekdays. But when I do, I love it. We had an important mission: ordering tile for the apartment. We went to Ferrand, which did our kitchen when we moved here, and which has a gorgeous showroom.
Since we were in town, we popped by to check on the renovation. The electricians were hard at work. The place is getting completely rewired, a huge task that involves piercing 2-foot-thick stone walls and then covering it all up.
Then we went next door to Place Carnot for a coffee. It was another gray but mild day, and the terraces were full of people.
There’s a small market on Tuesdays, a slightly bigger one on Thursdays and the major one on Saturdays. Because how can you expect something to be fresh if you shop only once a week?
The contrast with the other day at la Cité was sharp. La Cité was very, very quiet (which I find wonderful, actually). La Bastide, or the lower town, was calmer than on Saturdays, but still lively. Carcassonne is a small city, so the level of activity is never very high. There’s a gentleness and intimacy to the encounters you see. Many of the locals — les Carcassonais de souches — are relatives or went to school together, like in any small town. And it’s fun to watch the local matrons picking up their weekday produce, while holding small dogs on the leash and wearing short fur coats despite temps in the low 50s.