Bonjour mes amis,
We hope you are safe and happy. We are too, but we are over his heatwave. Enough said!
We have been in southwest France in Toulouse, heading to the Spanish border. It is the so called "pink city" because of the colour of many brick buildings but we think the title is a bit of a stretch.
We had some very good meals in Toulouse such as a warm goats cheese salad in a local bistrot and delicious pasta in an elegant, old world restaurant in Capitole Square. Lorri had her first sangria (she calls it granita,) and loved it. She also discovered that she enjoys chardonnay. Her palate is certainly changing on this trip.
(We've also seen great masses of pink and white oleandas which Lorri has been calling "corianders". She's either cute or a tad demented.)
As it was very hot, we thought we'd be efficient with our sightseeing and booked a last minute walking tour. However, it was the worst we've ever had. The girl was not confident so she relied on a presentation folder. She took us to some interesting places but she also walked us around streets to show us some bars and crepe shops that just wasted our time and energy. She didn't know enough background or stories to satisfy us. She couldn't answer questions that we were interested in. A little while before the end we were going to drop out but then we saw a church in the distance and we kept going. Needless to say she won't be getting a good review from us.
On Saturday we travelled about an hour away by train to Albi, the family home of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and his gallery. We loved taking a journey through his career and especially doing it in the gorgeous Brebie Palais which houses the collection.
Albi was fabulous! Everywhere you look in Albi you see beautiful, historic buildings. The parterre gardens and the view over the river are breathtaking. It's certainly a feast for your eyes as well as your soul. The Cathedral of Saint Cecilia is a real contrast between the monolithic, fort like exterior and the very ornately painted interior with lace-like gothic carvings. It was almost overwhelming.
Later in the day we heard a lot of joyful noise coming from the direction of the cathredral. It was a wedding party leaving the church and walking through the streets of the town. It was lovely to see this tradition.
By the end of another hot day under our sun umbrellas we decided that we're never taking another long trip in Summer. We much prefer the cold and fewer tourists! Now we are on the train to Barcelona and looking forward to a top temperature of 29° instead of endless days of high 30s. But "we no complain!" It has been a wonderful trip.
Lorri and Jude xx