Monday, May 28, 2018

Worthwhile day trip to Albi

It was our plan all along to make a day trip to Albi while in Toulouse, but we both agonized over it because the train ride was going to cost 50 euros. I am sure this probably wouldn't even make it our most expensive day trip, but it certainly seemed high compared to ridiculously low cost of the regional bus transfers (1 to 3 euros). We did even find a bus alternative, but we would end up spending more time transporting than in Albi.

So, we decided to finally give blablacar.com (ride sharing) a try. Our previous hesitations were confirmed the evening before -- our driver canceled the trip! We ended up going to Albi on the train, but were determined to use blabacar and rode back to Toulouse in a Citroën C3 with a very simpatica sociology professor from Toulouse university -- what an edifying ride!

Albi itself is beautiful. Their resplendent cathedral is more worthwhile than all the rest of churches we saw in France put together. The Toulouse-Lautrec Museum is a very good single artist museum. Having missed Toulouse-Lutrec at the NCMA years ago, and again last year in Bilbao, I could now say -- I am not much a fan.

Waiting for our train to Albi at Toulouse-Matabiau Station.
Toulouse, France

On the train.
Toulouse, France

As we walk from Albi-Ville railway station to town, we immediately see brick buildings.
Albi, France

Soon the Cathedral is poking out above the trees into the hazy morning.
Albi, France

Albi, France

We first head to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum as it closes for 2 hours for lunch. Yikes! But the ticket is good all day so we can go back when they reopen if needed. Here's a self-portrait painted when Henri was 16.
Musée Toulouse-Lautrec - Albi, France

The museum is located in the former Bishops' Palace.
Musée Toulouse-Lautrec - Albi, France

It's a very good museum; English language info, comfortable; and a good job of presenting HTL's life, paintings, and posters.
Musée Toulouse-Lautrec - Albi, France

Musée Toulouse-Lautrec - Albi, France

Musée Toulouse-Lautrec - Albi, France

Musée Toulouse-Lautrec - Albi, France

Musée Toulouse-Lautrec - Albi, France

Musée Toulouse-Lautrec - Albi, France

The Bishops' Palace sits below the Cathedral (seen here) and has a garden and views towards the Tarn River.
Albi, France

The Garden with Palace at right.
Garden with Tarn River and Old Bridge - Albi, France

We ate our picnic lunch in front of the Market Hall.
Albi, France

Albi, France

On to the Albi Cathedral (aka Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia). Spectacular! At one end of the Cathedral is an enormous Last Judgement below the organ.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

The deep blue ceiling frescoes lead ones eye to the elaborate choir screen.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

These expressive atlantes hold up the pulpit.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Into the choir. The choir gate used to separate the clergy and the holies from the worshipers, now it separates the ticketed from the ticketless although IMO it's definitely worth 6 euros.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Prophets, Saints, and Disciples ring the choir. Saint Judith.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Inside the choir looking back towards the nave.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Daniel.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Angels.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Back into the nave.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

Albi, France

We walked down to the Tarn River and across the old bridge to get a view back to the old town.
Albi, France

Albi, France

Albi, France

Tarn River - Albi, France

And then back across and up to Saint Salvi.
Albi, France

Albi, France

The Saint Salvi Cloister was intimate and down-to-earth.
Albi, France

More walking through the old town.
Albi, France

Sun-Ling remarked that this small lane was her image of a French town before we took this trip.
Albi, France

We waited for Maria and her blablacar at the base of the Cathedral Tower.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France

And a final shot of the Cathedral, the largest brick building in France they say.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - Albi, France




2 comments:

Kathy said...

The inside of Albi cathedral is such a contrast to the fortress outside, isn't it?

john said...

Exactly!