The weekend of the September 26th and 27th Dickinson had its first excursion. We left the city of Toulouse to discover other treasures of the Midi-Pyrénées Region. Heading north to visit two other Departments, Aveyron and Tarn, our first stop was to the Pierre Soulages Museum, recently opened and dedicated to the works of Ruthénois (native of Rodez), Pierre Soulages. The museum’s collections include paintings, engravings, and the famous cardborad stained glass windows, which Mr. Soulages designed and built in 1994.
After the visit, the group had lunch in Rodez and then left for Conques, a village that well deserves the various titles it holds, like “Grand Site de France” and one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France’, which reinforce the importance of village’s patrimony. That afternoon, our wonderful guide, Mr. Créma, gave us a tour of the Saint Faith Abbey and the treasure, where we can see the relics that have attracted so many pilgrims for centuries. That evening, we had dinner with the pilgrims, and afterwards certain students went to hear the orgue concert in the abbey.
The next morning we woke up early to trek some of the Saint Jack of Compostela trails. Mr. Créma was again our guide, and he taught us not only about the history of Conques and its pilgrims, but also about the surrounding natural environment. An outdoor picnic was the perfect way to end our hike, as well as our time in Conques.
We had one last stop to make: Château Lastours in Lisle-sur-Tarn, a vineyard in the region of Gaillac, where we had a guided tour with the head of the Château and did a wine-tasting, which allowed us to appreciate all the work in wine cultivating that Mr. de Faramond had explained to us before.
I have given you a general resume of our weekend because the seven students who participated are going to share with you their impressions and favorite parts of our excursion of the Midi-Pyrénées.