Must sees in the Midi Pyrénées continued…..

So last week I looked at the Pyrénées and some of the amazing places there are to to visit, this week I’m taking a sneak peak at some of the most interesting towns around the Midi Pyrénées to visit…..

Carcassonne – A UNESCO World Heritage site based in the Midi Pyrénées, Carcasonne is a fortified French town based only 59 miles Southwest of Toulouse. The city lies within two outer walls and is home to some amazing medieval architecture including the old gothic cathedral – St Nazarius’s Basilica.32363_10152252340685704_52626413_n

Albi – Yet another UNESCO world heritage site in the Midi Pyrénées, Albi is a small village located about 75 km North East of Toulouse, and is well known for its brick cathedral which claims to be the worlds largest brick construction.

Brick cathedral

The village is also home to famous artist Toulouse-Lautrec, whose work can be viewed in the former Bishops palace.

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Lourdes– A small town lying at the foot of the Midi Pyrénées, Lourdes is a magical town famous for its Marian apparitions, where the virgin mary is said to have revealed herself to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.  The Notre Dame du Rosaire de Lourdes is definitely worth a see at the grotto, along with a visit to the grotto itself, and a chance to collect some holy water from the Lourdes water spring.

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These are only a few of the more well known gems in the Midi Pyrénées, I will continue to post the best places I come across and the secret treasures I find over here!! Till next time….

Au revoir mes amis x

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Welcome to Barcelona

So over the weekend we decided to take a short break to Barcelona to experience the city life and do some exploring……Only a four hour drive from Toulouse it was a lovely drive with some amazing views en route, the best parts of the journey had to be passing by the town of Carcasonne and driving along the coastal road of Narbonne.

Arriving in Barcelona we were excited but a little tired and ready to check in and relax, little did we know how our Barcelona experience was about to unravel…….

I had heard a lot about Barcelona and had been thoroughly warned about the pick pocketers and con artists that would be lurking about, however we were taken by surprise when we nearly lost our car due to a scam we were never expecting……

The flat tyre scam – As we took our exit off the motorway and came on to the main road leading into Barcelona, our car started jolting and making a strange noise which we soon realised was a flat tyre, a little confused we pulled over hoping it was salvageable and we could make it to the hotel. After pulling over we jumped out of the car to inspect the damage, when we were approached by a “nice motorcyclist” who was offering us directions to a garage…..however as we were being distracted by the motorcyclist we hadn’t notice the man behind who was about to jump into our car and drive away!!! Lucky for us a genuinely nice Spanish couple chased the thief off and we managed to save our car and all our valuables just in time. It turns out this is a well known scam in Barcelona where motorcyclists fit blades into their shoes to puncture your tyre while on the road, hoping you will pull over and that they can distract you while their ‘partner in crime’ tries to steal your things!

Thankfully after a long wait for the AA and a change of tyre we finally made it to our hotel and managed to get through the rest of our weekend scam free, and undeterred to enjoy our Barcelonan Experience.

Waking up the next morning I was glad to see the city was every little bit as beautiful as I had expected. Some of our favourite sights over the weekend included;The Sagrada Familia – a famous church within Barcelona designed by Gaudi, a Catalan architect. Construction of The Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and still continues today!

La Catedral – A beautiful gothic style cathedral dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona, the co – patron saint of Barcelona.

Casa Batlló – The restoration of a house by Gaudi in 1904 that had been originally built in 1877.

Nou camp – FC Barcelona’s Football stadium, a little less cultured but definitely a must see when in Barcelona.

It was a wonderful weekend in all, and even our near scam disaster helped add to experiencing the true culture of Barcelona (although I’m sure I wouldn’t being say that right now if our car had been stolen). I can’t wait to go back as I feel we have only skimmed the surface of a city full of gems.

Au revoir mes amis x