Albi, Toulouse Lautrec

Trip Start Nov 16, 2008
Trip End Nov 29, 2008

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Flag of France  , Languedoc-Roussillon,
Monday, November 24, 2008

Today we got up at 8:45 am, got dressed and then went to the main house for breakfast which consisted of breads, jams, butter, fabulous honey, cheeses and various morning beverages. The fireplace was faintly crackling at one end of the long table. The room was quaint as only a French farmhouse can be with half-timbered ceilings, ancient looking knick-knacks, and a couple of kitties purring on the sofa.

We were the last ones to arrive for the morning, it appeared. There were others finishing up from Barcelona (two couples), and another couple who had just started eating. This couple was visiting from Belgium. He is from a town near Bruges, his fiancee (we found out later) is from Paris. He did most of the talking since she doesn't speak much English. One of the interesting things about him is that he makes Belgian beer. We enjoyed their company for several mornings at breakfast.

After we finished eating, Madame drew me a map with towns and places of interest that were nearby. DH wanted to go to Albi, since it was raining and super cold. (Originally we had planned on going into La Cite...the walled part of Carcassonne).

We headed out and took a small road through the mountains; it was so beautiful with fall colors, lots of green moss, rivers and water falls. By the time we neared the top of the mountainous area, it was snowing a very light fluttering snow. The temperature dropped to -3 degrees Celsius.

When we were approaching the town of Mazamet, it was totally fogged in. But we stopped at the side of the road and could just see the town below, as well as a lookout turret on the hill across.

We finally got to Albi where the Cathars orginated (they were called Albiginians). We walked around in the frigid cold and found a charming place called Retaurant La Temporalite to eat lunch. I had rabbit with escargot, DH had steak, and the kids shared a yummy looking chicken plate.

After lunch, we went into the Musee Toulouse Lautrec, located in La Palais de la Berbie (Bishops residence). It was o.k. It was pretty small, and I'm not a huge fan of that particular painter. I did like seeing the advertising art though; I did find that to be very interesting.

We walked around the town some more. Probably the most beautiful view on the whole trip was looking down at the river across to the church with a double rainbow arcing overhead. We then went into the old town itself where DH and I treated ourselves to a new computer bag (for him) and a handbag (for me). As we stepped out of the store, it started to hail! We ducked into this tunnel thing until it stopped, then walked to the car and headed back to Carcassonne.

We took a big freeway through Toulouse, so it was a lot quicker getting back. We went to Leader Price once we got back to Carcassonne to get some bread, cheese, juice, etc, for a light dinner in our room.
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charlotte Samson on

hey, i stumbled on your site, i live in Albi, thats been almost 3 years now, this really is a beautiful place to live and im glad you enjoyed your stay, they are currently trying to class albi as a national landmark. Its really touching to see the majest that albi has cast on me also works its charml on other peopleas well.

take care

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