Sunday, June 04, 2006

roughing it- in Europe

I have stayed in expensive hotels in Paris, Venice and Avignon. The European taste is so different and much more charming. American hotels tend to uniformed and stuffy. I've stayed in very cheap lodgings too. By far I enjoyed the cheap lodgings more. Each one is so different; you never know what to expect and that makes it so much fun. One place had the toilet wedged in the stairwell in between floors; you have to watch your step when you leave; you might fall down the stairs. Another place is a big old house run by a very nice young French couple. I always choose places where the guidebooks describe as friendly. The friendliness makes up for the rusticness. Rustic- that's the word for it, it sounds better than dumpy. These pictures were taken in Carcassonne, France. It's someone's loft which was painted pink and had lots of colorful provencal fabrics. It was cheap and delightful. The kids loved it. We stayed right in the center of the medieval city and cheaply too; 64 euros per night for the 4 of us. The balcony looks out into old and moldy buildings and the turrets and crenellations of the ancient city walls. The kids want to return to Carcassonne.

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