The destination of our trip is department of Ariege. The department lies about 100km south of Toulouse near the border of Spain and Andorra. To the East of the Ariege lies valley of Tet, (we visited it last year), to the West – Bagneres-de-Bigorre and Pic du Midi.
We start our journey on 7th September 2010 on a Ryanair flight to Brussels Charleroy airport. There we learn that our next flight to Perpignan is canceled due to the strike of the Airport control service. Ryanair kindly proposes change the flight to one 4 days later. We decide to go by train instead. To get one we have to go to Brussels by airport shuttle first. Here we get tickets to Lyon. TGV gets us there in 4 hours. The train to Perpignan was scheduled only the other day, so we decided to go to Montpelier instead. We arrive there at 11pm to find plenty of hotels in the city center – all of them with a plate Complet (fully booked) on the front door. To get an accommodation we have to take taxi an drive through the night and thunderstorm to Les Balladens located near the airport. We are there at midnight.
We get our car (Fiat Panda) at Herz near Montpellier train terminal and take the freeway to Beziers, then a beautiful mountain road to Saint-Chinian, Saint-Pons-de-Thomieres, Lespinassiere, then by Carcassonne roundabout to Fanjeaux. We take a break there to stroll through the village. On the top of the hill stands a beautiful church. At the moment there was an exhibition of ritual costumes from the 14th century.
Leaving Fanjeaux we proceed to Mirepoix, Lavelanet and then to the place of next accommodation on the main street of Saint-Pierre-de-Riviere village.