Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cordes sur Ciel and Albi

Go and find a cup of tea and a comfy chair this is going to be a long post...
We spent the day in Cordes sur Ciel on Tuesday, so called because it's high up on a hill right up in the sky (ciel). It was a big climb so we had to fortify ourselves beforehand with cake and coffee.
Sally introduced us to the little mouse 'souris' cake which I'm going to try and reproduce when I get home. I however couldn't resist the 'Frais de bois' or tiny wild strawberry tart.
Corde is incredibly beautiful. A medieval town which had more than 5500 inhabitants towards the end of 13th century. Beautiful sculptures and views everywhere.
Mine 'perfect' hosts.
It was pretty hot so we had to have a beer at the top. There were umbrellas over most of the tables with an ingenious device that sprayed a fine mist of water over the diners. Can imagine needing this anywhere in the UK?
After the rigours of strolling, drinking and shopping we had a picnic in a nearby field. Chairs, table, tablecloth and napkins as well as a sensational array of food. It was incredibly hot though with only cicadas for company.
Yesterday we went to visit Albi. Albi is quite a large town about 40 minutes away, it is the capital of the Tarn d├ępartement. Famous for it's incredible Cathedral and being the birthplace of Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. The French are so good at the smoothly vertical.
How's this for an organ? The paintings underneath the organ are vividlt descriptive of what happens to you if you're not GOOD. Some of the images are quite hilarious and some are positively chilling. There is a hierachy of souls going from gluttons and thieves at the very bottom to arch angels at the top with crowds of dead looking individuals marching with their bibles in hand. Makes you want to be very very good in future.
The Cathedral is devoted to St C├ęcile the patron saint of musicians because when she was dying she sang to God. She was martyred between 176 and 180 and survived for three days after her executioners failed to decapitate her three times. It doesn't bear thinking about really. Here is her tomb with its incredible reliquary which supposedly holds one of her finger bones.After the Cathedral and Lautrec museum we neede refreshment again and Ricardo's favourite food is 'Bulot' or big, chewy, slimy, yucky sea snails. He was in heaven.
My favourite food however is now iles flottante


Roxi said...

They have those misty sprays in darwin and NT....

Dad's smile is looking worse for wear... Still waiting on a new tooth?

Lulu LaBonne said...

It looks glorious lovely being there vicariously through your gorgeous pics

JoeyJoJo said...

Hi Rox, no tooth yet we have to wait until we get back home for the next exciting instalment.
Thanks Lulu, it's usually me who's living vicariously through you.