Across the Montagne Noire
About 60 miles this ‘up and over’ provides a pleasant drive there, returning back via a different way (we got lost). The SatNav provided no end of advice all of it as bad as it’s pronunciation.
Following the main points of Saisac, Arfons and Dourne and returning via Escoussens. Though lots of hairpin bends through the trees, the roads were quick enough, taking nearly 2 hours allowed for a couple of stops for photos.
At Albi we quickly parked the car in one of the underground car parks (a couple of EUR per hour) and wandered across to the Cathedral Ste-Cecile.
The Palace and the Cathedral were all built immediately after the Albigensian Crusades (started 1265). These imposing buldings were a means of establishing the Catholic Churche’s (and the rest of France) authority in the region over the Cathar heretics (prevalent and encouraged in the textile industry of Languedoc). This little bit of history helps us understand the wealth of the Catholic church and the importance of the region to France and hence the effort put into these buildings during the 13C.