Friday, March 25, 2016

Toulouse in a week

Today was our last day in Toulouse. We've been here for a week now. We arrived last Sunday, for Hubby's work. I tagged along because I could and especially because I had never been here before. There wasn't much planning, since Hubby found out a few days prior to our departure that he was being sent to France for his client's client. Through Postcrossing I had contacted a member who lived in Toulouse to see if we could meet during our time here. We actually met up with her on Sunday evening, a brief encounter where she shown us the main things to see while here. She was super friendly and we hit it off.

The next morning Hubby went to work, and I walked around the city by myself. I will say this, I'm not crazy about doing the tourist thing all by myself. It is much more pleasant to visit with someone else, to have someone to share with, than being by yourself. Toulouse is a nice city, people are friendly and you can see a lot on foot. Our hotel was well located, right smack in town, so I could tour, on foot, easily.  I took a map and hit the streets.  I got lost (like every day I've been here!) and ended up by La Garonne (river).  Along the way I walked on "La rue du Taur" (top right). 
Bottom left, the flat bell tower of  "Église du Taur" and the St-Sernin Basilica.  It was interesting and very old buildings, all made out of bricks, orange bricks, even if they call Toulouse The Pink City, it is more orange than pink, for sure!

It was nice to see all those gorgeous buildings, and walking along these narrow little streets and back alleys, seeing all those shops selling local delicacies, postcards (which I bought!) and multiple little cafés.  Once Hubby came back from work, we walked around some, and made our way for a good dinner at Grand Café de l'Opéra on the Capitol Place.  It is what they call a Brasserie, which is very different from what we (in Québec) call a brasserie.  Their brasseries have a lot more class than ours.  Our dinner there was delicious, expensive by really good.

Tuesday, I got up later than the first day and made my way down to the Tourist Office, since a friend from Montréal, whose sister lives here, suggested to do a guided tour of the city while here.  Since the weather was nice, I was alone and didn't really know what to do, I decided to go for a tour of  ''Toulouse's Monuments''.  It was a walking tour of two hours.  We went to the Capitol, visited the Chambre des Illustres, where they now celebrate civil weddings and such, then made our way to Basilique St-Sernin, which I had seen (the outside of) the day before, but then got to go inside and learn about its history, construction.  Then we made our way to le Couvent des Jacobins, which is also gorgeous and so impressive.  Our guide knew her history and was (obviously) passionate about her city.  She gave us so much information, I was starting to zone out at the end; between being loaded with info, and having to walk and stand for over two hours (our tour started at 14:30 and ended by 17:15), I was cooked by the end.  She left us at l'Hôtel de Bernuy.  I got lost again on my way back, but did manage to make it back to our hotel.

The tomb (bottom left) is of St-Thomas d'Aquin, the center picture is of "le palmier" of the Jacobins and their refectory.  That building was among my favorites.  So much history in there, how Napoléon's men used that Church as a barn is almost unreal, and yet... the History of this place is unbelievable.

On our third day I spent it with C., the local Postcrossing gal.  We went to the market, get some local cheeses, bread, meats, and chocolates.  What a treat that was.  It is fun to hear them talk, with their Southern accents, and expressions, I love it!  We even managed to do a mini meet, the two of us, and send out about twenty cards.  After work, Hubby met up with us at their place, and we enjoyed a delicious meal of local food together.  It was a very sweet evening.  All four of us got along, talked a lot, laughed and ate well together.  We really hit it off with them both.

Thursday was a bit more slow for me, walked around a little, and crashed for a nap in the afternoon.  When Hubby got back from work, we stayed around and went to a place near by for dinner which wasn't that great, but they did have delicious fries.

Today, Friday, Hubby managed to leave the client at around noon, so that he could visit the city some.  We walked around some, and made our way to the Garonne River.  He wanted to see the bridges.  Along the way we stopped for lunch where we both had delicious meals; pizza for him and pasta for me.  We did some shopping, bought some souvenirs like a beautiful painting, a thin box representing the city and more postcards.  Today the weather wasn't all that great, but at least we did manage to finish this trip together.  Since I had been on a tour, I could share of the information I knew (and remembered) with Hubby.

We both agreed, Toulouse is a beautiful city and we would love to come back.  It was a fun, loaded week for both of us, in very different ways.  Worth the trip, for sure!


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading about your visit to Toulouse. I have never visited France so it was very interesting. Did you also find differences in the French language between France and Quebec?

Stinky paw said...

There are many differences... think of it as American English and Brit English - we speak the same language but oh so different! Let's just say it made for some interesting conversations! ;-)

Christelle Mendelssohn said...

You are welcome both whenever! Lots of love;