First stop to complete Albi was the Toulouse Lautrec museum. Very modern museum with an excellent collection of his works. Spent two hours there.
Then off to Castelnau de Montmiral. Only an hour drive and the countryside is beautiful. This town is a member of TMBVF. The Most Beautiful Villages of France. This is a small bastide town (surrounded by ancient walls). It is always amazing how clean and beautiful these small towns are. We strolled around the town and had lunch at one of the two restaurants on the main place. We both had salads today, trying to save room for dinner at a recommended restaurant in St. Cirq Lapopie.
We left Castelnau at 1:30 and drove through beautiful countryside to the town of Cordes-sur-Ciel. You need to park in the lower town and walk to the upper town, no cars allowed. We sure got our workout today. Straight up hill on cobblestone streets up, up, up at least a kilometer. We sure got our workout today! This area's homes are different in style from Provence with many timbered homes from the 14th-15th centuries. We walked the streets admiring the gorgeous views over the valley and browsing some shops before heading back downhill.
We arrived in St.-Cirq-Lapopie at 5pm where we have our hotel reservations for the night. What a drive, through valleys and green hills and finally limestone cliffs. This is another town perched high on a hill with breathtaking scenery, lots of shops and restaurants. We had an excellent meal of local cuisine (Karen had duck tenderloins!)
We are headed to Pech Merle tomorrow, our first prehistoric cave.