I said I liked wandering through these little streets…
I think this is my favourite one. No idea what the women were talking about, but I was very happy they were there! We nearly missed the area with these old, cobled streets and houses with shuttered windows, but as we arrived two minutes before the Abbey closed we had two hours to kill before it re-opened. We first had lunch in a small coffeeshop/restaurant in the Place de la Republique. The warm vegetable salad was really good and the heat from woodburning stove was very welcome as, despite the sun, it was cool. The free WiFi enabled us to check that the aircontroller strike was definitely finished and then we wandered through the old bit of Caunes-Minervois.
One of our favourite places in the area is Lagrasse. It also has some lovely old, cobbled streets and a great place to have lunch.
A new town for us this time was Béziers. It sits atop a hill and was the first town attacked during the Albigensian Crusade. Catholics were given an ultimatum to hand over the heretics or leave before the crusaders besieged the city and to “avoid sharing their fate and perishing with them.” However, they refused and resisted with the Cathars. The town was sacked on July 22, 1209 and in the bloody massacre, no one was spared, not even Catholic priests and those who took refuge in the churches.