By Shruti Sharma
I know, I know, its been a while. Yes, I’m a very erratic person. Before I forget, I must tell you about this beautiful, beautiful place I managed to find out about whilst planning my Eurotrippin.
I was on the lookout for artists residencies basically – no, I am not an artist. However, I was convinced that some of the most beautiful spaces on our planet are restricted for use (yes, sort of like Area 69) by artists, and I decided that I was going to faff my way into one of these spaces and see what the fuss was about. And voilah(!), I found ‘Le Parc‘, which is based in an enormous 19th century notaire’s house, set in a walled parc, in Pampelonne (France), originally a 13th century stronghold. This place has been open since 2006. It offers many large spaces: rooms, studio-rooms, separate working and meeting rooms for professional artists (various disciplines) designers, musicians, writers etc. The space is also available for seminars, courses, training.
Before zeroing in on the space, I wanted to check how authentic it was, so I googled and I googled and found one blog after much searching. Now that I’ve visited, and loved it to the core, I thought I’d write about it and make it easier for anyone else who decides to visit.
How I got there? It was actually not too difficult – You basically touch base with Rob and Els, who run the place, and talk to them about what you’re going to work on during your time there. If they like your work, they send you a formal invite. Then you transfer an advance for your stay through cheque or a couple of other means.
To reach – you make your way to a small student town in South France called Toulouse. I was going from Spain to France – so, I did a 6 hour bus journey from Barcelona (Sants) to Toulouse. From there I bought a train ticket for Albi Ville (1 hour journey, cost 9 – 15 euros). At Albi Ville, Rob and Els picked me up since they already knew about my arrival time roughly (this is the only way to do it, don’t know if there is a taxi service even at Albi station). They were sitting and waiting for me at a little restaurant across the station, drinking red wine – as soon as I landed at the restaurant, they figured it was me, waved lovingly, and offered me a glass of wine!
At Albi that night (my first in France) we went for an art exhibition and then later in the night, drove 14 kms to the village – Pampelonne.
And do join us for a coffee at the Kunzum Travel Cafe in Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi, India.