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The Carcassonne Castle lit up at night is spectacular. Make sure to save time to walking around at night. A must.

Waking up with Naked Men in Carcassonne France

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I awoke in Carcassonne France a little rough around the edges this morning surrounded by mostly naked men.

Bastille Day in France had treated my very well.  I enjoyed it sitting along the edge of the river in Carcassonne France picnicking and drinking a little too much French wine while waiting for the spectacular fireworks show that was the grand finale of the day.

Carcassonne Castle at night after Bastille Day fireworks

I know where you think this is leading; I can see the gears turning in your head.  If you read my previous posts, you might remember that I was in France without my husband…

I am sorry to dash your hopes for a good scandal, but despite my best efforts to create one, I am somewhat disappointed to report that it all has a reasonable and mundane explanation.

The four bed, coed shared dorm room that I had booked before leaving for France somehow shape-shifted into a 40 bed, coed shared dorm room.  I was still ok with it; it was cheap and considering how full town was for the celebrations, I was overjoyed not to be sleeping in the car.


Upon arrival at my bed at the end of the evening, I fell into a deep and sudden slumber (the type of deep slumber that only too much to wine can give you) and awoke not enough hours later so we could get to the airport for our flight to Portugal.

I awoke to the sound of cell phone alarms were starting to go off around the large room, the drunk revelers from the night before were starting to stir.  Opening my eyes, I made a quick check that all of my vital pieces were still there (fingers…check.  Toes…check. Clothing…check.  Passport…check)  Then one foot at a time, I stumbled towards the bathrooms.

Others were also starting to stumble out of their beds.  This is where the naked men come into the story.  I learned quickly that French men have no qualms about presenting themselves in their underwear with strange women around,  and men’s underwear in France don’t leave very much to the imagination.

While I was not offended, the deeply ingrained sense of morality when it comes to the issue of nudity that is hammered into my head in the United States piped in and said, “No, that’s not right!”

Hostel in Carcassonne France

Still half alseep and not wanting to gawk awkwardly, I averted my eyes and continued on with my business, a little less naive about the ways of the world than a had been a few minutes before.

Bidding goodbye to France is always hard for me. The fact that we are not heading home but to Portugal first  is providing a distraction to keep me from thinking about how much I will miss France.

For more great writing about my time in Carcassonne France for Bastille Day, France, please check out the following posts:

  • Planning your Trip to Carcassonne for Bastille Day in France
  • Bastille Day in France:  The Fireworks in Carcassonne
  • Pictures of France:  Bastille Day in Carcassonne

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    things to do in carcassonne france

Shanna Schultz

Hello, my name is Shanna, and I am a detail obsessed travel addict on a mission to make planning your own family trips fun and easy! I offer tools, guides and resources to help you through all of the steps of planning meaningful, memorable family vacations. Come over and check out our Facebook community where I share real tools and resources to help you move the needle on your travel goals. Let's start making those travel dreams real, y'all! Life is too short to spend dreaming...let's start DOING!

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Cathy Sweeney

    Very good of you to avert your eyes — probably not an easy thing to do! 🙂 Yes, it does help when leaving a wonderful place like France to know you’re heading to another exciting destination.

    1. Shanna

      I am actually a little shy about things like this (especially with strange men and no husband around) so it really made me feel more than a little awkward…

  2. Juliann

    I felt a little tipsy just reading it. But it sounds like you (and everyone else) had a great Bastille night. Fun!

    1. Shanna

      Yup, a great time was had by all. Oh, how I do long for that great, cheap French wine!

  3. Andrea

    You should check out the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris too if you get the opportunity =)

    1. Shanna

      I am always looking for an excuse to visit Paris 😉

  4. jill

    Even though I do admire a more ‘liberal’ approach to nudity, I never know where to look whenever naked people (or half naked people) are around me.

  5. Turtle

    I’m guessing the ‘naked’ guys were being at least slightly discreet because it was a co-ed dorm. I find it really strange in single sex dorms when complete strangers will walk around with absolutely nothing on at all. Maybe it’s their culture but I get very shocked when that happens!

    1. Shanna

      Well, they weren’t quite completely naked. They were wearing little thong type underwear, but that was the only discretion being used. They were not trying to cover themselves up in any other way. Yeah, it was a little shocking.

  6. memographer

    Got me with the title 🙂 Sounds like you had a lot of fun that night. Good Times – Good Memories 🙂
    European Men are not familiar with the word “shy”.

  7. Pingback: Bastille Day in France: The Fireworks in Carcassonne (part I)

  8. Pingback: Pictures of France: Bastille Day in Carcasonne France

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