20160813_165428.jpg

The local area boasts several distractions from retreating.

Your host happens to have a collection of old bicycles and you would be welcome to use them.

Albi to the north has the largest brick building in the world, its cathedral. (Try telling that to a scouse tour guide who claims the same status for a Liverpool warehouse).

Albi Cathedral.

Albi Cathedral.

The cathedral is plain on the outside and full of surprises on the inside. The historic car racing circuit is still in operation and you can “have a go”. The permanent Toulouse Lautrec exhibition should not be missed.

Lautrec.

Lautrec.

The near-by village of Lautrec is built on a hill and consequently has its own windmill, not to mention your nearest prize-winning bakery. Cafe Plum is a delightful venue - as near as France gets to a pub, but more-so.

Cafe Plum.

Cafe Plum.

There are art exhibitions and a free swap library. Frequent musical performers do their thing in the setting of a classic courtyard while their audience enjoy a no choice menu.

Picturesque Castres (see top picture) is the nearest town. Rugby fans will know it for its successes on the field. Of course it has a plethora of good restaurants and bars, many of which overlook the river. Half way to Castres is the local supermarket, Leclerc.

Castres

Castres

Of course there is the opportunity to walk locally in the undulating countryside but for more extreme vistas the Montagnes Noire are but a short drive away. On a clear day you can even see the Pyrenees.

Montagnes Noire

Montagnes Noire

About an hour and a half drive away over the mountains is the amazing medieval walled town, Carcassonne.

Carcassonne.

Carcassonne.