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Alone, I had all the leisure in the world to take pictures from every angle and lug my rolling carry-on size bag making all the noise in the world without bothering anyone. The morning was so bright and clear, and as I wound my way past the eighteenth century buildings, across the old bridge with its requisite European love locks on it (you’ll find combination type locks all over Europe with lovers’ initials chained to bridges symbolizing newly married couples, if I’m not mistaken), and up one of the older paths to the castle, I was truly happy. While I had planned my voyage enough to make a reservation at the auberge de jeunesse (hostel) in the Cite Medievale (that’s the town on top of the hill/mountain), I did not have the forethought to look up exactly how to get there. Instead, I asked for directions hopping off an early morning train, looked for the castle, and just followed it over the river. I completely missed the more common, user friendly path that leads normal pedestrians and cars up to the Cite, to my delight, my entry was spontaneously and serendipitously the same as so many nobles and peasants before me. I loved the views of the castle from the bridge and looking down on the jolie ville (pretty town) from the hill. I was listening to

Something Beautiful by Needtobreathe for a good part of the way. It was such a beautiful moment, it unfolded so naturally.  The only thing possibly missing was someone I loved to enjoy it with; at one of those times that is the peak of happiness so archetypal of the joy of life itself, the only thing I could ask for was to share it. I am so glad I had that bittersweet moment though, much more joyful and expectant than sorrowful like the word bittersweet suggests though. Dear Lord, I thought, I can’t wait to bring someone I love here! And since then, I’ve enjoyed several good moments in good company, but I still hope to bring a special someone, not just a lover but a love, back to Carcassone.

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