On our final day in the South of France, we made our way over from Millau to Rodez, stopping off only briefly to check out the action of the Tour de France going through Millau.
Our first stop in Millau was the Soulages museum, home to many great pieces of work by renowned artist Pierre Soulages along with other pieces by some of this favourite artists.
Now, although we did have a bit of an introduction to Soulages at the Fabre museum in Montpellier, this museum here is really the one you want to visit if you want to know all about his work.
Room after room, dedicated to many different pieces and genres of work by Soulages abound in this interestingly designed building – you’ll kinda see what I mean by ‘interesting’ once you have a look at what it’s like outside.
See, outside, the building looks pretty much rusty, almost like it’s some abandoned property but this is all very intentional and in keeping with Soulages aesthetic.
Done with the museum, we stopped off for lunch in the sunshine at Le Coq de la Place, right next to Rodez Cathedral – otherwise known as Notre Dame cathedral, which we would actually be climbing to the very top of, after lunch.
We started off with some Aperol Spritz to cool off in the heat, before diving into an interesting (and equally refreshing) salad.
For mains, I went for the duck confit, which is never the prettiest meal but one I’ve kinda been into since a friend served it at a New Year’s Eve party. Lloyd, on the other hand, went for the fish (which he made very clear was actually quite delicious).
For dessert, unable to decide on just one, we went for a smorgasbord of desserts.
As soon as we were done with lunch, we were picked up by our guide to take us up to the cathedral (you have to do this officially with the city so pop by the tourist office to book it).
We initially had a little jaunt through the myriad of small streets and alcoves outside the cathedral…
…before heading in.
Now from outside, the cathedral looks absolutely huge but in the past, this has not always meant that it looks huge inside too. In the case of this one though, it was equally as huge and impressive inside!
We wandered through the cathedral, doing a ‘half-lap’ of sorts around it before eventually heading upstairs.
Thankfully, the stairs in the cathedral happen in stages.
You go up one bit and arrive at a level where you around to get to the next set of stairs (or at least at a level you can stop to wander around before carrying on) and so on and so forth.
Due to ‘staged-ascent’, it’s pretty easy to make your way to the very top of the cathedral and way less strenuous than some of the other cathedrals we’ve been to the top of.
The view at each point constantly gets better, looking over the pretty city of Rodez and the surrounding countryside.
You get to see bits of the cathedral and indeed of the area that you otherwise wouldn’t as you make your way to the top and I definitely recommend it if you’re planning on spending time in Rodez.
Eventually, we arrived at the top, totally hot but absolutely triumphant, taking in the view that came with the heights we’d scaled. 😀
And with that, it was time to leave Rodez!
We stopped off for a little jaunt through parts of the town we hadn’t seen yet…
…before eventually picking up our car, bidding the city farewell and making our way over to the airport.
The last few days here had been a different experience of the South of France than most would expect (typically it conjured up images of seaside holidays) but turned out to be a pretty fantastic way to see such a rather beautiful part of France. 😀