Monday, August 08, 2016

Visiting Albi Part 2 - Albi Activities

On to part 2!  What did we do after driving and cycling to Albi?  

Of course, the first order of business was lunch.  Dan desired some calories.  We also try to keep the kids fed so that they are less grumpy during historic-type activities.  We looked for one of the closest places that was also tasty.  We found a French restaurant called, Le Papillion.  Why choose this one?  One of the reviews on google said that the proprietors were friendly and tolerated customers speaking terrible French.  WE speak terrible French!  In the world of restaurant preferences, we prefer when people let us try to speak French instead of immediately handing us a touristy menu written in English.  We also prefer friendly restaurateurs to those that treat tourists as an irritation and only give good service to locals.

The restaurant was great!  We got French menus, the waiter was super nice and patient.  The food was delicious.  However, the boys decided not to appreciate the food.  We ordered Alex some steak hache, or hamburger without a bun.  He tried it, but that was about it.  We didn't bother ordering Will food.  We told them that when we were finished with lunch, we would get bagels at the place we passed by on the walk in.  However, as meals move slowly in France, the kids continued to get more and more anxious and hungry.  So, we stayed and ate our food.  We gave the kids some euros and sent them on their own to find bagels.  

It wasn't far.  We explained that it was basically a loop.  They just had to keep turning to the right to get to the bagel store and back to us.  It was a win-win!  We got to peacefully eat our food.  The kids got to do something interesting on their own.  We did get slightly concerned, of course.  After a bit of time passed and we were getting worried and about to send out a search, the kids returned with their bagels.  Will got a bagel with cream cheese.  Alex got a bagel with Nutella.  The restaurant let them eat their bagels acquired elsewhere at the table with us while we ordered coffee and desert.

Yummy Cream Cheese

Nutella, it's for lunch as well as breakfast

Post lunch, we headed over to the Sainte Cecile Cathedral.  

It's Gothic

The inside was ornate and well-decorated.


The kids weren't super impressed by the inside of the cathedral.  I'm not quite sure what to tell them to encourage them to take an interest in things that were built in the 12th and 13th centuries. Perhaps prior to our next cathedral visit, I will invest some time in creating an art scavenger hunt.  

Next, we headed over to the Toulouse-Lautruc museum.  However, we opted out of the museum visit itself as most of Toulous-Lautruc's art tends towards being a bit gritty.  He painted a lot of art with brothel themes.  Sure, we take the kids to museums that have traditional art of unclothed subjects.  We explained that creating art that depicts the realistic human body is difficult and therefore a challenge to artists.  Will's solution to the problem of realistic sculptures is that instead of cutting a figure out of marble, we scan a person and use a 3d printer to produce a completely accurate, realistic form.  

Toulouse-Lautrec Museum

Painting on the side of the museum showing people in a museum

Fortunately, the museum used to be a palace and also has some lovely gardens to experience. 

The gardens you can look at from above, but not go into

Looking down at the gardens

Proof that we were all there together!

As you can tell, there were also great views of the city from the gardens.

The tower you see behind us

The nifty bridge

The palace itself

Bridge and City

Overall, the trip to Albi was both interesting and painfully full of children's whining.  We hope that we can find better ways for them to enjoy historical things.  And, we hope to find a babysitter and head back to Albi to visit the museum without the kids.

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