Visit to Albi

Once Jeffrey conquered reverse in our Renault Magane, there was no holding us back. With the help of our Garmin GPS weíve been as far north as Albi and as far south as Foix and Mirepoix, on the edge of The Pyrenees. The GPS with itís authorative and slightly robotic voice has been invaluable. We donít think we could manage without her. By the way, her name is Belle.

Albi is the birthplace of Toulouse-Latrece and, as one might imagine, there is a Musee Henri de Toulouse Latrece located in a former bishopís palace. It contains a magnificent collection of his oils, pastels, prints and posters. Additionally there are works by Matisse, Dufy and others and a lovely formal terraced garden with great views of the city, the old bridge and the River Tarn.

Albiís main claim to fame is its enormous red, brick cathedral, Cathedrale Saint-Cecile. It is purported to be the largest brick building in the world. It was first built as a fortress starting from 1287 after the Albigensian crusade to show any potential heretics who was boss and that they better forget about Catharism or any other such nonsense. The beautiful stained glass windows of the Cathedral are high off the ground as to be unreachable by a potential stone thrower.

The Cathedral Saint-Cecile at Albi was originally built as a fortress to keep the people down

The Ceiling of the Cathedral

Albi Cathedral Stained Glass

More Albi Cathedral Stained Glass

Albi's Old Bridge (from 1040 AD) and New Bridge

Formal Gardens of the Palais de la Berbie, former dwelling of Bishops of Albi, located next to the cathedral of Sainte-Cťcile and the banks of the Tarn

On our way to Albi we spent time strolling through the peaceful towns of Rabastens and Lisle sur Tarn, a lovely little Bastide town. On the way back from Albi, we ran into the most horrendous traffic jam we have ever experienced. Of course we could see nothing that caused this jam. Jeffrey drove inch by inch for I donít know how many miles and was an absolute champ, not losing his temper once. He really deserved a medal!

Interesting building seen along the way to Albi in
the village of Rabastens Sur Tarn

Coffee Break in Rabastens

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