Leaving it all behind: By train from Albi to Figeac - A Summer Meander Through France - CycleBlaze

August 7, 2015

Leaving it all behind: By train from Albi to Figeac

I'm not the only one to be quitting Albi this morning. Apparently the heat has gotten to a lot of people, and there are several bare spots in the campground. I eat a hasty breakfast, and get my stuff packed by 8:30, which turns out to be a good thing because I had the wrong time in my head for the train. As it is, I arrive at the station four minutes befor train time, so I validate my ticket and lift the bike into the train and we are off.

These older trains are disappearing from France. They are not handicap accessible, nor particularly friendly to bikes.
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I change trains in Gaillac for the ride to Figeac, which takes about two hours. I watch the scenery pass by and daydream. The line runs through the mountains of the Massif Central and some of the views are stunning. But they pass by too quickly for photos. We go through several tunnels, climbing all the while. The train gets to Figeac on time, and it's a short downhill into the city from the station. I stop at the tourist office for information, and choose a hotel on the river. This is the river Cere, the same one I rode along when leaving Aurillac so many days ago. After lunching on salad Niçoise, I return to the room for a nap, and to update the journal.

Salade niçoise . Nice presentation.
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After my nap, I get up and wander around Figeac. The city retains much of its medieval past, the streets are narrow and the buildings show signs of long use.

Side street in Figeac
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Stones so old they show signs of erosion.
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Why do medieval buildings have overhangs? Because they were taxed based on the area of the ground floor.
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Windows come and go over the centuries.
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After eating at the semaine federale's massive cuisine, I decided to treat myself to a really good meal. I chose the restaurant le Puce a l'Oreille. Here's the menu: Mise en Bouche: salmon with ginger in creme fraiche and purée de carrot Entrée: feuilleté de fois gras avec ses petites toasts de pain aux fruits secs Plat: boudin noir poêlée avec légumes de saison. Dessert: prunes pochées aux vin de Cahors et épices. Accompanied by a half bottle of local red wine, it was delicious!

Today's ride: 9 km (6 miles)
Total: 956 km (594 miles)

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