in Carcassonne, I win the Paul Anka award

Last night we had dinner in a terrific bistro — crisp salad, a delicious cassoulet rich with duck confit, Toulouse sausage, nuggets of lamb — and while we were eating, smooth golden oldies were playing on the sound system. I joked that I almost expected to hear Paul Anka singing “Having My Baby” and John insisted that Paul Anka never sang that. So we bet on it. I said if I was right, he had to buy me a bijou in the old city next day. I won’t say what he said his prize would be (but you can imagine…).

Not only was I right — ah, the wonders of YouTube — but I also realized that Paul was already a presence in our hotel room, on the door of the bathroom:


And here’s my prize:


it was quiet within the ramparts of Carcassonne today, quiet enough for the imagination to enter the old gate nd walk the narrow cobbled streets, under towers dense with pigeons, and look out to the beautiful countryside through the slots where archers would have shot the enemy.


Looking up, I wondered if the gargoyles ever tired of the view. Or the pigeons.


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