A blog by Linn Veronica and Jean

Tarn, France

Tarn is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution in 1790, and is named after the river Tarn. Thinking of visiting? Check out our photos below, and learn more at Tourisme Tarn.

 

Index

Toulouse

Lautrec

Albi

Gaillac

Penne

Biocybèle

 

Toulouse

In the end of May we went to the big city Toulouse to visit a couple that Jean met when he was in New Caledonia several years ago. It was really nice to stay with you, Mika and Olwen, and thank you for sharing a chatty evening with lots of delicious self made vegan sushi with us!

 

With excellent weather we walked around the city center, and we happened to come across a Boogie & Lindy festival that relighted my wish to dance Lindy Hop regularly again, which is an awesome type of swing from the 30/40ties that I simply love.

 

If I play my cards right, we might attend the Boogie and Lindy festival (BAL) in Toulouse next year 😉

Our hosts offered to lend us their bikes, and that way we discovered that Toulouse is a truly bike-friendly city, with beautiful tracks next to the riverside, surrounded by huge, green trees that gave us the sensation of being on the countryside.

 

Lautrec

Toulouse was nice, and the countryside around even better for the two of us, as we love to surround ourselves with nature. A stop in the little and charming village Lautrec can be recommended, as you have a nice viewpoint by the old mill, as well as cute little restaurants and shops with local crafts for sale.

 

In Lautrec we visited Café Plum, a cooperative offering a café (obviously), but also a bookshop and a multi-purpose scene. There we had a nice chat to the lady in charge of the bookshop, where I was drooling over the big selection of interesting literature. The very same evening the scene happened to host a live concert with the talented group Zef. Their album has since been our superb company on the road!

 

Close by to Lautrec we found a nice spot to camp for the night, by a beautiful lake to give us a nice evening view to cook our dinner. The morning after we went for a walk around the lake, enjoying the peace and quiet.

 

Albi

The episcopal city Albi, around the mediaeval cathedral Sainte-Cécile, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2010. It’s also home of the Toulouse-Lautrec museum (French painter, 1864-1901). My favourite part was the small houses with bright coloured details.

 

Gaillac

Gaillac is a town situated between Toulouse, Albi and Montauban. It originally developed more than 1000 years ago around a benedictine monastery that was constructed here. More recently the fame of Gaillac has been built on the fame of the vineyards that surround the town.

Here we visited the café Au Comptoir du Chinabulle run by volunteers, a place that offers workshops, donation based flea market, concerts, bike repairs as well as a nice social network to have a cup or glass of your preferred drink with. The other association café around happened to be closed the couple of days we spent here, so we’ll save Cartes Sur Table for next time.

 

Penne

What a fascinating little village! The Fortress of Penne from the 13th century is built on a hilltop, giving visitors an amazing view to the buildings and valley below.

 

Biocybèle

For the French, Bio means organic, and Cybele is a Phrygian deity. She is the Great Mother of the world, the vegetative and wild power of Nature. Goddess of fertility, she shares with Jupiter the sovereign power over the reproduction of plants, animals, gods and men.

The organisation Nature et Progrès arranges the fair Biocybèle each year to honor organic farming, and we paid it a visit! Here we got to know about the Alternative publisher Alterrenat Presse, that offers great books on themes like vegan cooking and permaculture.

 

Anyone could try to cut grass with a scythe – something I had done not long ago, it’s really efficient, and reminds me of doing qi gong! A couple of guys demonstrated how to do lumberjack work the old-fashioned and ergonomic way, while chanting to keep the rhythm. There were eco construction workshops to show how to build a strawbale and mud house, and the people behind the local currency CEP had a stand to inform about the benefits of an alternative economic solution. Several craftsmen and -women were selling their handmade products. Permaculture gardening was of course also presented.

 

The percussion group Da Tookba contributed to a lively ambiance, seeds were sold, falafels were eaten, dishes were done by everyone, bee hives were shown, impro songs sung… It was one of the nicer fairs I’ve been to. 

 

Want to know more about alternative ways of living in Tarn? Check out Alternatives Tarn!

 

2 Comments

  1. Anita Tangstad December 12, 2017

    Nice, nice, nice!! Such a beautiful country! It is fantastic how much you know about the places and the history! I look forward to visit France this Christmas🎅

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