The counryside of the Midi-Pyrenees ranges from mountainous to rolling farmland. In the Middle the hills are uplifted limestone and have steep escarpements on one side and long treed slopes on the other. The varied topography is not easy to traverse. Narrow roads, barely wide enough for two cars to pass, wind through the valleys and connect small hamlets and villages, some of which date back to Cathar times in the 13 and 14th centuries. These small towns are ideal for walking, exploring and taking time to make sketches.