Michael and Pam's Travels Our European Motorhome Adventures and other Travels

Albi, France ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท 2023

Date: 16th September 2023

Travelled: 0 kms in Albi  

Visited: Albi  

Stayed: Albi Aire CC, free, N43.93340, E02.13600  

Budget: 117 days @ โ‚ฌ97 per day

Having arrived in Albi late yesterday and settled into the aire, we decide on a walk to find our bearings. We no sooner cross the Tarn on the amazing Le Pont Vieux and Pam spots a coiffure. Before you can say haircut Pam is in the chair getting her hair washed. 40 minutes later she emerges.

Youโ€™ve never heard of Albi Iโ€™ll wager and either had we. But our guide book highlights Albi as the birthplace of Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec and the city boasts a museum of his works. That and a free aire captures our imagination.

Our first stop as usual (if we can find it) is the tourist office to get a highlights map. The wonderful young lady advises us itโ€™s National Heritage Weekend in France. To our delight she tells us entry into all the cities attractions are free this weekend.

Like a flash we are standing outside the Museum Toulouse-Lautrec. The museum is situated within the Palace Berbie.

Weโ€™re Henry fans, having visited Paris twice, we thought he captured the essence of the Montmartre in the 19th century. We have enjoyed his work in Parisโ€™s best museums and at a travelling exhibition in Canberra a few years ago. We have two of his posters on our walls at home.

Henry was an odd fellow just as comfortable painting his mother as the prostitutes he frequented.

There are perhaps 50-60 of his painting and some 20 original posters. Arranged generally in date order itโ€™s interesting to note his progression as an artist.

Enough of Henry, as I stated previously the museum is situated with the Berbie Palace, so we do a quick walk through the palace before moving on the the palace gardens. The formal is classic French.

The garden done we walk across the square to the Cathรฉdrale Saint-Cรฉcile. Itโ€™s easy to find as it can be seen from Spain.

Construction of Saint-Cรฉcile dโ€™Albi began in 1282, it would take 200 years to complete. Itโ€™s claimed to be the largest brick building in the world, having seen it I wouldnโ€™t argue. Everything about this building is unique compared to other cathedrals we have visited.

Thatโ€™s enough for today, we walk the main pedestrian mall looking for somewhere to have lunch, thinking the further we move away from the cathedral which is the big draw card in Albi the cheaper it will be, only if you want a pizza that is. France certainly has changed in the 12 years since our first visit, most restaurants we pass these days serve some form of Italian cuisine. The three pโ€™s, pizza, pasta, panini.

Eventually we end up back at the cathedral and have a fabulous not Italian lunch and drinks. We take our time have a second drink and watch the passing parade.

The French follow fashion and trends, but is this a doggy bag or a puppy purse perhaps ?

That was our visit to Albi.

Michael + Pam

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