Continuing to make the most of my days off work, we traveled to Albi, France on Monday.
I didn't know much about it, but Earl swears it was on our original list of possible cities to live in. It seems a bit north to have made the list, and we didn't actually visit it, so if it did make the list, it sank to the bottom to be forgotten by me.
Instead, we focused on the Aude and the Gard regions of Occitanie, closer to the Mediterranean. And we ended up living in the Aude, so named for the river that runs through our town. Albi is in Occitanie, but north of Toulouse and in the Tarn region, so named for the river that runs through it.
These days, we just itch for any place to provide some variety during the time of Covid. Our friends Sue and Steve drove because they were taking along their adorable puppy Elwing.
I read from a tourism site as we drove (yes, I'm that obnoxious person in the car). Albi, the Albigensian Crusade was named for the town, has the largest brick cathedral in the world. And we were struck by all the brick as we pulled into town, searching for the best place to park and explore.
|View of the brick Cathedral|
|A close-up of the stone entryway with its climbing details.|
|You can see the clash between the brick and the stone entryway.|
The city is also famous for its timbered buildings. So many old houses leaning precariously but holding onto the timbers from hundreds of years ago.
|Timbered buildings and a brick arcade|
Our first stop, of course, was for take out coffee. Something we only get in Quillan on market day. Then we wandered the city. There's a section with some expensive shopping.
|Sue and Steve posing with the Albi sign, the cathedral behind them|
We found some quaint squares where people live in houses getting close to 1000 years old.
|Steven insists the tiny house at the side was the smallest ever. I say it probably connected to a bigger part of a house. He pointed out it has its own house number.|
|The morning was chilly, but the sun came out in the afternoon|
|Chinese noodles to go. We're always in search of take out food.|
I had egg noodles, chicken, broccoli and mushrooms with teriyaki sauce. If you haven't eaten out for five months, you can understand how important these meals are. We found a bench in a square overlooking a fountain and enjoyed the food. Earl and I shared an Orangina. The sun had come out.
We thought we would head to the car, but I had checked the doors of the cathedral and it was supposed to be open from 2-5 p.m. (that's 14h to 17h). I thought we'd just have a peek inside. Living in France, you sometimes get a bit blasé about churches, seen one, seem 'em all, but, WOW.
|The cathedral was amazing on the inside.|
|3 D painting, or maybe trompe l'oeil, meant to fool the eye|
|Just took my breath away|
We walked back to the car, glad for our day of exploring in Albi.
|Even the bridges are brick|
Hope you are having adventures where you live too.