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near Puilaurens, Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées (France)
Once you make a sharp turn to the left after a rather long stretch you will see the castle for the first time, perched amazingly on top of a rock and one cannot but be impressed by the sheer logistics of building this fortified place in the twelfth century.
For the next couple of kilometres you will see the castle from different angles and they are all just as impressive.
After buying the tickets for the visit of the castle you will have to work really hard for this visit as the climb up to the castle is steep and will take you from 600 metres to more than 700. The last part of the climb is on the sometimes gigantic stone steps all the time giving you wonderful views of the countryside even as far as the Pic Canigou at 2785 metres.
The castle grounds are rather extensive but there are only ruined remnants to be seen unfortunately.
After our visit we followed the 'La Sere des Aiguilles' track for a while again buts as it was too cloudy and misty higher up we decided to leave that track and find our own way back to the parking place.
The first part of that part of our walk, after leaving 'La Serre des Aiguilles', was along a normal track that took us from 640 to 720 metres.
From then on the track was completely unmaintained which implied a lot of scrambling and climbing across fallen trees and the descent is quite steep.
Arriving at 'La Serre des Aiguilles' again we decided to take another route to the parking place and again followed another completely unmaintained track until we arrived at a normal path at more or less 520 metres that took us back to the beginning.