ALBI : A CITY WITH TWO RIVERBANKS
Have you noticed, just a few steps away from the Saint Cecilia place, that there is a wild river and its protected flora and fauna criss-crossing the city? The Tarn river is spanned by one of the oldest bridges in France, dating from the Middle Ages and still used today . The Tarn flows at the foot of Albi, the Episcopal City. Its source is in Mont Lozère, and it goes through the famous Tarn Gorges, following the Tarn Valley and its twists and turns. Then it marks the countryside as it crosses Albi and travels as far as Montauban, where it joins the Garonne.
THE BANKS OF THE RIVER TARN
Two walking routes lead along the banks of the Tarn from the place de la cathédrale:
- on the Quai Choiseul, walk alongside the Berbie Palace, a former episcopal residence housing the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, then on the bend, take the steps under the fig tree or continue to the Pont-vieux and go down to the Moulin du Chapitre
- on the rue de la Temporalité, reach the place de la Trébaille, at the foot of the bell tower of the Cathedral of Saint Cecilia and then take the green pathway which leads you along the banks.
Soon, birdsongs take over the sounds of the city as you walk along. The banks of the Tarn follow the old towpath, they are a place for daydreaming, napping, riding and games with children.
THE BANKS: DEPARTURE POINT FOR ACTIVITIES
At the foot of the Berbie Palace, a pontoon signals the departure point for the scows, this typical boat that allow you to enjoy cruises on the Tarn from May to October. Pay attention as you sail along, you are bound to see herons, egrets, beavers and wild boar in this protected environment... The captain, John, will amuse you with his good sense of humour and anecdotes. The banks are also the first sections of the Echappée Verte, a 4km urban walk though the city. Jogging, walking, speed walking, cycling, there are so many activities to enjoy on your own, with friends or with family.
THE PONT VIEUX: THE LINK BETWEEN TWO BANKS
The Pont Vieux, that dates from 1035, wears proudly its 10 centuries of history. The construction of the bridge promoted the expansion of trading, made easier the transport of goods and people and was enriched with the toll point.