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Albi, La Cavalerie, Roquefort

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I am travelling with two siblings to go to my mother's memorial service in Italy, to be held Nov 16, this Friday. We are bringing her ashes to rest beside my father's in the family plot.
We decided to stop by two cousins who cannot attend on the way there, we were in London on Saturday and are now in France, on Wednesday we will be in Italy, the service will be Friday and then we will fly back home on Sunday

My French cousin lives close to Toulouse, we stopped in Albi on the way to her place. The cathedral of Albi is the largest brick building in the world, a beautiful church dediciated to St Cecilia

We weren't permitted to take photos inside the church, nor inside the Toulouse de Lautrec museum. Toulouse de Lautrec was born in Albi and the museum there is his largest collection of works. Personally I prefer his horses to his Paris entertainer girls, my favourite being L'Enlevement. There were also a series of clever drawings and sketches. Here is a panel close to the entrance of the museum

My cousin lives on a farm, La Cavalerie, in the country, the scenery is awesome, and today was a nice sunny day

She let her sheep out for the day. My sister is in the first photo also taking picture

In the afternoon we went to visit the caves where Roquefort cheese is made. They are located within an hour car's drive from La Cavalerie. There is a legend that a shepherd was resting in a cave with his flock in view and saw a pretty girl shepherd go by and put down his lunch of bread and immature cheese. He didn't catch up with the girl and he forgot about his lunch. Some months later he was resting in the same cave and saw his old lunch which now was old bread and a succulent, tasty cheese. Roquefort cheese is made from bread mold spores. Another fascinating feature to the Roquefort cheese story is that the caves in this area have the same temperature and humidity inside all year around (and their climate is ideal for cheese maturation )no matter what the weather is outside. So they became the place where Roquefort cheese is made.

Some nice hiking trails in the area, not for this visit as we are leaving tomorrow morning

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