Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Where It All Began

I just got back from a three-day trip through my earliest expat memories.

My husband and I got married in July 1990 at the Mairie in the tiny village of Cestayrols , population 459, located in the Tarn department. A few months later we moved from Lincarque, the even tinier hamlet where we had been renting a gîte, to Albi, where we lived from 1990-1992. My first daughter was born there, in the now defunct Clinique Escudié.

I adored Albi and when we left it for professional reasons in 1992, I thought my heart would break. Place nostalgia overwhelmed me every time I thought about the town's red brick houses, its covered market and its warm atmosphere.

After a three-year stint near Tours, we moved back to the Southwest -- to Aveyron -- and swore we would get back to Albi and the Tarn often.

But of course we don't. There have been the occasional trips to show American visitors la ville rouge, and a few stops on our way to Toulouse. But for the most part, we rarely return to the area we loved so much.

Until this spring break. Our stay in the Tarn was short, but brought back a multitude of memories -- and a lot of blogging material.

I hope you'll be reading La France Profonde in April -- because we'll be taking a trip to the Tarn.


cityfarmer said...

Absolutely cannot wait.
Bring it on

Gigi said...

I've never been to Albi but I fell in love with Toulouse when I went...I hope to go back there one day. In the meantime, I'll look forward to your trip to the Tarn!

Mimi said...


I am green with envy.

Betty C. said...

Oddly, we're not as enchanted with Toulouse as we used to be. It seems to have gotten so big and noisy...For a big city outing, we prefer Montpellier.

Katie said...

I agree with you about Toulouse. We went there a lot when we first moved to Andorra.
I also agree with you about Albi. We had some good friends in Andorra who 'summered' in Albi and 'wintered' in Andorra. Lovely place!

Paul said...

Hi Betty -
me and Helen got married in July 1990 too! But we got married on the 14th - I guess you didn't, since you were in France...

Betty C. said...

That's funny. Actually we did get married in France, in the village on the milestone (kilometrestone?) -- Cestayrols. The exact date was the 9th -- we chose a date halfway between American Independance Day and the French one!