“Oh the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Revealing #2 of the
Top Three Very Good Reasons to Cruise the Canal du Midi

To quote Dr. Seuss
Oh the places you'll go,
as you meander the canal
pulling over when something strikes your fancy 
and gliding past when the captains of your boat make you stick to their schedule. 
(insert eye-rolling emoji here)

With many small hamlets along the way,
like the circular village of Bram…
and Villesquelande, with its remarkable tree
of the 15th century.
Of the larger cities on our route, 
my favorite is Carcassonne with its medieval fortress.
It even has a board game named after it.
The Cité de Carcossonne sits up on a hill…
 approached by foot or tram from the city below.
Despite the 'Disney' feel…
with plenty of diversions for children…
its history is UNESCO worthy.

In 1887, Gustave Nadaud described Carcassonne as a lifetime destination.
 Of course, I am sure it sounds even more lovely in French.

Castelnaudary, actually referred to as a commune, 
is another larger township,
where we experienced our first downstream lock.
Much less dramatic than climbing.
The lack of flowing water filling the chamber as our boat rises to the canal 
was a bit of a let down.
our captains were pros after 59 locks.
 We managed to dock for the night on the Grand Basin...
offering amazing views of the city from Winifred...
and easy access to explore.
This wall sculpted by Emile Peyronnet, 
lists the names of deceased soldiers
 and is known simply as 'widows and orphans'.

Castelnaudary's claim to be the world capital of the cassoulet 
was enough evidence for us to enjoy the filling, rich dish...
before watching the city lights fill the sky from our floating oasis.
Reason #3 coming soon.

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