Published: July 25th 2012July 25th 2012
I arrived in Toulouse yesterday, to a cute little hostel that is located about 1 minute away from the subway. The owner is very nice, accepts my unpractised French with no questions, and gave me lots of places to go for photographing neat buildings and views. The city itself is pretty big, with a river (Garonne) in the middle, and several canals. The Canal du Midi is quite long, and goes down to Carcassonne. I hope to walk along or cycle along that when I get to Carcassonne. Here in Toulouse, it's not very pretty. The river though, is quite nice, and they have boat tours (bateaux mouches) that you can take. I might go on one when I come back to Toulouse on the weekend.
There are lots of old building here, with lots of history behind them. I need to do more reading about this location, but I know that there were many Spaniards who came here during WWII and lots of streets are listed in both French and Spanish. The churches are quite pretty, and a nice retreat from the heat. There was an open market today, and it was neat to walk around that and see all the clothing, jewellery, and whatnot that was being sold. I've done a lot of walking over the last two days, and have saved myself another area to view when I come back. I've eaten a couple of sandwiches au thon (love them!) and found myself wandering through a few department stores and clothing stores, just checking out how different (and yet familiar from years ago!) everything is.
There are also lots of beggars around, asking for money, even sending their children over to beg for change. It really bothers me to see these people raising their children to beg. I thought France was a socialist country? Don't they have programs in place for people so they don't have to beg? It's worse here than it is in Toronto, although it was pretty bad in Italy too. :(
Tomorrow I'm off to see the medieval city of Carcassonne. Can't wait!