Canals And Medieval Cities.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Where I stayed
Auberge du Pastel

Flag of France  , Midi-Pyrénées,
Saturday, August 13, 2011

After leaving our friends in Pensol we headed on a long drive South East to the city of Albi. Here, after struggling for a park again (standard in France - necessitating in using expensive underground parks) we found an amazing old city, with churches and ancient bridges. On speaking (as best we could with language difficulties) with a lady in the tourist bureau, we were advised that there was a museum here about Captain James Cook! Now this mystified us as she said he was born in Albi and had a French wife. Now learning about Cook at school was a long time ago, but this didn't seem right to either of us. She was insistent so we took a brochure on the museum and went and had a look.

From what we could gather, (quite hard to gather anything when the whole museum is in
French!) a Frenchman by the name of Jean-Francois de Galaup was a contemporary, and admired Cook and tried to follow his travels and routes himself. He also managed to somehow die somewhere near Australia, but he certainly was not James Cook.

Anyway it was a bit of fun going to a museum so not designed for the likes of us. After Albi we set off to Toulouse to find the Canal du Midi, we found its beginning and discovered we would be following it as we worked our way along for the next couple hundred kilometers. We then found our bed for the night in Nailoux, which we had this time pre booked. 

Next morning we headed to another ancient, almost fairytale in style, city, Carcassonne where a holiday procession was in progress involving medieval dress and lots of noise. Great to watch for awhile before moving on again.Then a little bit of a look at the coast in the Languedoc-Roussillon region confirmed what we had guessed, nice beaches but teeming with French holiday makers on this long weekend.  

Footnote: Episcopal City of Albi, Canal du Midi and the Fortified City of Carcassonne are all UNESCO World Heritage listed. 

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