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A River Runs Through It ..

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Plan de Ville

Plan de Ville

Cuxac Cabardes

Cuxac Cabardes

The old village of Cuxac-Cabardes is a backwater of solid stone houses in the Black Mountains north of Carcassone. It is quaint, but it lacks the picturesqueness of five-star villages like St. Paul de Vence or Eze near Nice. It also lacks the crush of tourists and flashy entrepreneurs flogging tacky knick-knacks that go hand in hand with such stardom. There is certainly nothing flashy about our baker…
… but he bakes fabulous bread and croissants in a traditional wood fired oven.

Cuxac-Cabardes is a real village of real people, although many of the locals have sold their rustic cottages in the valley and now live in bright modern houses on the top of the hill. Most of the newcomers are summer sojourners who come here for a few weeks from Paris or London and want to avoid the razzmatazz of the pushier resorts that dot the nearby Mediterranean coast. But now, with the vacationers gone until next July, many of the houses are tightly shuttered ….
However, life goes on for the few hundred residents, The clocks on the Mairie and the church tower continue to chime each hour - only five minutes apart - while the mayor and his staff beaver away in their offices. The French are lovers of bureaucracy - they even invented the word - though goodness knows how many bureaucrats it takes to fill a building the size of this Mairie … the town hall ...

Cuxac-Cabardes today is an antiquated riverside village that boasts two bakers, two butchers, a general store, a pharmacy and four sets of incredibly filthy public toilets, (just what do all those bureaucrats do?). But the faded signs on many of the buildings speak of a vibrant past when the village boasted cafés, auberges and a host of other businesses. And the street names tell us that in times gone by this village was renowned for its chestnuts - marrons. Here are some of the beautiful trees near the river…

Autumn Trees in Cuxac

Autumn Trees in Cuxac

Our typical, three storey, village house on the Route de la Foret, retains much of its authenticity and ambience; with low beams, stone fireplace and wooden shutters. Its squeaky floors and narrow winding staircase speak to its age, but it has the necessitates to make us comfortable. We came for two weeks, stayed for three and we will be headed back here as soon as possible. In fact, we’ve signed up as chief cook and bottle-washer on David’s magnificent canal cruiser, the Carmen, for next June - we can’t wait.

Posted by Hawkson 06:49 Archived in France

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You guys make absolutely everything sound so intriguing and fun. No old chestnuts here!

by Sharron

James & Sheila... Thanks so much for staying at our place in the village.. and putting it and our beautiful area on your blog. It's been a joy traveling vicariously with you two. Love your photos and great narrations.... Continued 'bon voyages' to a lovely couple..

by Donna & Jean Dugay

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