So, here we are, on top of this gorgeous mountain surrounded by the Tarn river on three sides in this 35,000 square foot monastery. It's really quite spectacular. The ride from Albi is pretty ridiculous though- in order to get to Ambialet, it's necessary to first go down a huge mountain that consists of about 30 sharp twists in the road- apparently it's the mountain that was used for the le tour de France time trials last year. I couldn't imagine going up that enormity on a bike in a million years!
Anyways, when our director, Tim, pulled into the driveway after he picked us up from Albi, I couldn't get over the absolute silence and the absolute darkness at the top of the mountain. It was incredibly calming, yet a little eerie. We walked into the huge castle of a place and although construction was still going on, it is still pretty incredible. It's just endless- it keeps going and going. It's wonderful how we can enjoy our completely renovated rooms and brand new bathrooms and Internet and all of the modern stuff but still be living in this ancient place with the gorgeous architecture and an 800 year old living room.
We got our bikes and had our first riding adventure. We started with a basic route that didn't involve too many hills. It was rainy but still very nice. It was pretty invigorating with the rain and all and the landscape is still so pretty regardless. We also took out first hike up the huuge mountain across from the monastery. We actually took the trail further up than we intended and got to see the view from the very top. On the way back down we stopped at some old castle ruins and climbed up those even though that was a bit scary because I don't think you're really supposed to climb all the way up there and it's quite a steep way. I'm excited for all of the outdoorsy kind of things we will get a chance to do here.