Snow lies on the peaks of the Pyrennees, the first sign that winter is on its way. But it was a textbook autumn day a couple of weeks ago when a friend and I set off on a shoe-buying jaunt to Carcassonne. (Don't ask--but a subsequent day in Toulouse was more successful, for her, not me.)
But back to the road to Carcassonne which, once you've passed through the village of Fanjeaux, winds across the plain of the Laurageais. Here's where they used to grow woad. Today, it's maize, sunflowers and vines, now crimson, tawny and yellow stripes across the hillsides, like a corduroy patchwork quilt. I love love these avenues of trees.
That tower on the horizon is in the village of Montréal--one of seven Montréals in France.