Bravo Tamara Courcoul, Miss Carcassonne

Whilst we are busy not watching the Miss America (hence the miss part of the title) pageant over here, in Carcassonne, France they are busy crowning Mademoiselle Carcassonne*. First, a little background on the walled city:

Set high up on a hill, Carcassonne’s ancient walled city is Disneyworld-perfect. This fairytale collection of drawbridges, towers and atmospheric cobbled streets was reputedly the inspiration for Walt Disney’s The Sleeping Beauty, and it’s a must-see on any trip through this part of southern France. Its medieval core, the cité, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997.


Carcassonne is actually two cities in one. Besides the pretty-as-a-picture walled city and the hordes of visitors that throng its streets, there is a low-key, lower town that dates back to the Middle Ages. Known as the Bastide Saint Louis, it features typically French bars, shops, cafés and restaurants, as well as all the standard services and amenities you’d expect, and as such it’s the perfect antidote to the tourist attraction that towers above it.

Alright, enough history, let’s git to herstory. May I present, with any further adieuing, Tamara Courcoul, Miss Carcassonne:

Tamara Courcoul a été élue Miss Carcassonne, samedi soir, au Dôme. Elle n’a pas fait mentir le prolongement des prédispositions familiales en matière de concours de beauté comme sa mère et sa grand-mère.

Tamara Courcoul, Miss Carcassonne
Tamara Courcoul, Miss Carcassonne

Comme sa mère, Béatrice, dans les années 80, et sa grand-mère, Barbara, dans les années 60, la jeune femme de 17 ans, élève de l’institut… de beauté Sybelle, a été sacrée par le jury du concours organisé dans le cadre du festival Cité Jeunes.

The translation is here; but to gist it, Tamara Courcoul is following in the petite footsteps of her mother and grandmother, Béatrice and Barbara respectively. Both were prior winners of the vaunted title. Bravo Mademoiselle Tamara!

Whoah, a last-second, editorial lifeboat hollered at me that this is last November’s news. And undoubtably, you all are familiar with Tamara de Carcassonne. I may have to hire more employees for my already over-worked, under-(the table)-compensated complaint department. Standards- they are not only boozy, smoky Franky songs.

10 thoughts on “Bravo Tamara Courcoul, Miss Carcassonne”

  1. Carcasonne is delightful to visit. In the summer though, it will tend to smell unclean. My family loves it dearly!

    1. Good tip! I’ve been there twice, although I don’t remember the smell. It was very hot down in Provence when we were there. . .

    2. Veronica

      I thinks its known locally as ‘temporada seca de drenaje; (dry drain season).

      Beautiful place to peruse, but better to do so when it is just out of the Spring season.


  2. The young lady has a delightful smile and shows her inner attitude and sunny nature….a good thing her mother and grandmother passed on something positive to her ….k

  3. Ex Bootneck,

    I’m amazed that the local name of the season is “‘temporada seca de drenaje”. Is this actually the local term? Because it’s absolutely pure Spanish! Not some dialect of Provencal, but actually Spanish. Any idea of why this term is used there?

    1. Clark
      I have a great collection of walking maps of various areas in and around Europe that I have collected and used over the years. I tend to inscribe them with words of wit & pearls of wisdom, as well as add phone numbers and points of interest, all of which is marked in black perma-colour pen for posterity.

      I have a good mate (another Ex Bootneck) who I tend to go on such adventures with; when his wife allows him to take off his ball & chain.

      The gem I picked up ‘temporada seca de drenaje’ is indeed Spanish, though I think influenced from our travels from Andorra through to Bastide Saint Louis, Carcassonne.
      The Basque Summer is also referred to as ‘drainatzea lehor denboraldian’, which I believe is the ‘dry drain season’.
      The French probably have a saying in the same manner but I have no ‘ink’ reference.

      We tended to frequent the Spanish Tapas bars (as well as the odd Irish bar) whilst visiting Bastide Saint Louis. Though ‘when in Rome’; we did eat the French way on occasion (horse meat is not my bag)!

      Due to the past Basque terrorist problems, a great majority of the youth from the Basque region migrated North into Andorra and through to France.
      (Andorra being governed by Spain as well as France offers a unique stepping point, whether heading North or South).

      The Andorran’s speak Catalan, French, Portugese, Andorran and English. The ability to speak and use so many languages allows the Andorrans free access to open borders and seek work, mainly in France (much more affluent than Spain). There is also a substantial Andorran enclave living and working in and around Carcassonne.

      What I did find interesting is the fact that having Irish names actually meant that we were more warmly accepted on the border, especially in the very suspicious Basque region. This was due to the amount of Irish (catholic) tourists who visit the area; the Basques recognise their own strife in fighting for independence from the wicked British, just as the Basques fight for independence from Madrid.

      To all & sundry viewing; I would thoroughly recommend Andorra as a beautiful place to visit, even in the dry drain season…

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