France’s Cathar Country

The force of gravity had pressed me back so far that I felt I was at a 90 degree angle to the world. Heart pounding, I closed my eyes, clenched my teeth and gripped my car seat. Concen­trating on my breathing, I said a silent prayer.

For someone afraid of heights, I had picked a hell of a place to spend a vacation. How could I, normally such a meticulous planner, have overlooked that this land of abbeys was at the foothills of the Pyrenees? Had I been so starry-eyed about following in the footsteps of knights and troubadours that I overlooked that their castles were ensconced on cliff tops?

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