Our hosts, Dan and Bettina, took us to visit Cordes-sur-Ciel, a small hilltop village about 25km from Albi. It has steeply winding streets lined with houses and shops. At the top there is a covered market, church, many restaurants and art galleries.

In 2014 a French TV program declared it to be the best village in France. It is now a tourist attraction, but Bettina says that there are a number of other similar villages in the area and it is possible to do a walking tour over several days between them.

We ate aligot (mashed potato with cheese) with Toulouse sausage for lunch. One building had many grotesques (fanciful creatures and chimera) – the stone masons obviously had fun creating them.

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