ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Albi, Pyrenees Chateau trip

Updated on May 24, 2018
brightforyou profile image

Retired counselor, 341 short stories published by FSU. I have 4 sons, love sharing photography, writing, love travel, sunshine, sea & Grace.


As a single woman living in Guernsey in the British Channel Islands, I got to meet some affluent people. A friend of mine, Brian, had a small aircraft and had purchase an ancient chateau in France so invited me along with four other friends.

Brian was a good pilot and it was a beautiful day; we flew across the ocean, and eventually over the daunting Pyrenees Mountains and into Toulouse airport. Two caretakers from the chateau were waiting to pick us up. We split into two cars and we were off.

The chateau rose majestically, high up in the mountains; the ride was hair-raising and spectacular as we climbed steep and narrow S bend roads, with views only seen in post cards. We passed through villages, a monastery and had an intimate lunch - (which went on for 3 hours) in a little village restaurant; more accurately described as a local family's front room.

After lunch, we continued around tight S bends and heart-stopping sheer drops with views over enchanting lakes. Then finally the chateau came into view. The huge outer walls loomed above us and two wooden gates were swung wide to let us through. We entered into a cool and pleasant flag stone courtyard and then into the foyer.

The chateau was enormous; but we were only going to be staying in a small wing. (Brian planned to turn it into a hotel). Although it was basic and needed renovation, we had a wonderful time!

Through the ‘servants quarters’ were the back gardens with a view over the shoulder highwalls - an amazing 30 mile view across outstanding countryside; to the left was an almost sheer 3,000 ft drop where the wall had worn away.

We dined al fresco under a canopy of twinkling stars; the sky like black velvet. It was warm and the air perfumed with wild lavender from the crag wall. We drank local wines and made a meal of couscous and chicken on an old-fashioned range.

Our ‘bedrooms’ were huge state rooms with no furniture (we were made aware of this before we traveled and so slept on the floor on sleeping bags). I didn't sleep well; not just because of the hard, uneven stone floors, but because of the creaks and groans and fear of ghosts; after all this was a 600 year old chateau! Hundreds of people must have lived and died within these walls.

We visited Albi, which is a medieval city located 50 miles north-east of Toulouse. Albi is regal with huge buildings and is one of the most preserved historic sites of France. The red banks of the river Tarne reveal clay, which is used to make bricks for building the local houses.

The crusade against the Cathares of Albi is an important part of the their history as well as the artistic inheritance. Toulouse also gets its reputation from the talented writers born there, like Toulouse-Lautrec or the Count of Laperouse. We visited the awesome Sainte-Cecile’s Cathedral and had a typical evening meal of couscous, fresh fish and wine.

We spent a fantastic day at the Toulouse museum and touring the ancient towns. It was four days of heaven, living like ancient royals in our very own chateau in the heart of the Pyrenees mountains.




Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Hi Hummingbird5356, thanks for stopping by and reading my hubs - I look forward to reading yours! :-) Helen

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 

      7 years ago

      What an interesting story. I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi Betty, thank you so much for your comments, I am flattered and I love your hubs!

    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Another great travel hub! Your writing style is fabulous, with just the right amount of detail.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      It was SUCH a treat!

    • petermdhart profile image

      petermdhart 

      8 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      Sounds amazing. Lucky you!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)