Towpaths and topiary in Tarn

We’re off on our travels again! We’ve headed down South to a dog/house sit in Languedoc. We took advantage of a couple of nights in Airbnbs en route and had the opportunity to visit Montauban, Gaillac, Albi and Mazamet. Since we arrived in France, we’ve been keeping an eye on the different départements that we pass through and had noticed that Tarn had somehow eluded us despite being entirely surrounded by départements we had already visited. You may or may not know that any self-respecting French person can tell you pretty much all the corresponding numbers of more than 100 départements in France. The numbers are reinforced by being the start of everyone’s postcode and the end of everyone’s car number plate. So Charente Maritime is 17 and Tarn is 81 (they are roughly alphabetical with some anomalies). Tarn takes us to 28 départements visited since we arrived…

Albi is the administrative capital and largest city in Tarn (named after the river that runs through it) and Zanna has always raved about it so we thought we’d better pop by and take a look. We were not disappointed. Despite it being a rainy day, the town looked stunning with medieval architecture and quaint streets overlooking the Tarn river. We took this picture from the gardens surrounding the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum.


We’ve always been a bit fascinated by the Canal du Midi having watched Rick Stein’s show and Prunella Scales & Timothy West as they took a barge down the canal. The flat scenic walks appeal to me (not so much the idea of the water) but Rich loves all the fish and bird life found around the canals. We have been searching for that quintessential canal view of tree-lined straight peaceful water stretching as far as the eye can see. We’ve not found the exact shot we’re after yet, but we’ve only just begun our explorations. What’s your idea of the perfect canal image?


I’m sure as the seasons change, so too will the views. Watch this space…

I’ll leave you with a photo I snapped this morning (getting up a lot earlier at the moment to let the dogs out has its benefits when you see a sunrise like this).


À bientôt, bisous.

8 thoughts on “Towpaths and topiary in Tarn

  1. Still getting much vicarious pleasure from reading your blogs and it sounds like you’re having a really fab time gallivanting around the French countryside. Can’t believe you’ve been out there almost 6 months already! We visited Albi a few years ago while on hol’s down that way and really loved it. Seem to remember a huge brick-built cathedral (a bit like Guildford!) Lovely photos as ever, especially like the canal pics. Prompted me to dig out my own canal pics from cycling in Brittany in 2004 but they’re not nearly so good!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh canals….have many happy happy memories of being a canal digger in the Manchester Ship Canals! Tasked with cleaning up the canal, digging in the dirt and other outdoor stuff. A hilight was finding a sunken canal barge – well preserved!
    However, these days are would probably prefer strolling along them snd drinking tea!

    Liked by 1 person

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