I’m still in Albi, and we just had our last class before our final exam which will be in Toulouse on Friday. After that it’s smooth sailing back to all those places I’ve already been haha.
We had a few little trips during the week. Monday was a government holiday here in France, so we didn’t have class, and we visited the art museum here in Albi that’s dedicated to Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. It was kinda neat. Then on Thursday we visited the Labastide Vineyard about fifteen minutes out of Albi. I tried wine for the first time there (so that I could say that I first tried it in a French vineyard), and it was horrible. Honestly I hated that taste. There’s another girl on the trip who’d never had alcohol either and we tasted it together and that made it more fun haha.
I’m pretty sure this is the one that I tasted first, and I got the cork from it too.
On Friday there was another party, like they have every week. The student union here is kind of completely the students’ area. They can make as big a mess as they want there as long as it’s clean by Monday. So this party was submarine themed, and they had a kiddie pool and everyone was wearing swim trunks and stuff. They also poured water on the ground and then put dish soap all over the place and made a slip n’ slide. It was very exciting and I was very shocked that they just didn’t care about how messy they were being, but my French friend Guillaume (the second from the left) told us that usually to clean the building after the party they put a bunch of water and soap on the ground and then squeegee it out the door anyway, so really this was the easiest kind of party to clean.
There are a lot of fountains in the city center, and one night after we ate dinner out there a few of my friends and I decided to jump in them. It’d been a hot day so we felt like we deserved it.
This weekend we took some more side trips to some more cities in southern France. On Saturday we drove to Rabastens and just explored the city and the market like the other cities we’ve been to. We found this little path and walked down to the river and sat there skipping rocks for a little while. Then we went to lunch at a restaurant on a hill which had its own cool view.
And then we went to the Martels Gardens which were kind of cool, except it was a really hot day so we didn’t want to walk around them so much. There were these stones set in one of the ponds that you could walk across to the other side, but they were just slightly underwater so they had a lot of algae or moss or whatever on them which made them pretty slippery. A lot of us walked across them though and no one fell in.
Then we went back to Albi to sleep for the night, and on Sunday we drove for an hour and a half to the Roquefort Cheese Caves. It was another really hot day, but inside the caves it was like in the forties, so the change in temperature felt pretty good for about five minutes and then we were all freezing. We cuddled together for warmth. The caves smelled strongly of cheese, since that’s where they let it sit for like months and age or whatever it has to do. We also got to try the cheese, and they gave us three different levels of strength, and I didn’t like any of them. Someone compared them to bleu cheese, and I’ve never had bleu cheese but that’s probably what they were like. I don’t have any good pictures from inside the cave because it was so dark. But after we came out we climbed the hill there and took some pictures.
After the cheese caves we went to the tallest (not the highest) bridge in the world, the Viaduc de Millau. It was pretty cool, and since we’re all engineering students, it was kind of interesting. The six civil engineers that we have took a group photo there.
Then we went back to Albi and my friends and I played in the fountains again because it was such a hot day.
Now it’s Tuesday and I think a few of us are gonna hang out with our French friends one last time tonight before we leave for Toulouse tomorrow morning. I’ve also gotta pack everything back up and maybe do one more free load of laundry.