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Published: July 13th 2015
Toulouse. The reason we are here!
Well, after a VERY hot, largely sleepless night, Isabel and I are not feeling so thrilled about the heat. I am complaining now, despite being determined not to. We need to work out a system for shutters (close to block out noise from the road and light), windows (let in slightly cooler air but shutters need to be open for them to do that) and fan (strategically positioned to blow on both of us at the same time without being blasted in the face by hot air). It could be a very short stay if we don't work something out tonight! I know it's the worst heatwave in 80 years, but I'm feeling a little dumb today that I didn't choose somewhere to stay with air-conditioning as I really am here to work and no sleep is not a great way to start.
Today we were able to do a little sightseeing in Toulouse central. The metro system is fabulous - there are small trains every few minutes, and we found out when we went to conference registration that our metro stop is right under the university. We don't even need to go
The Little White Train, Toulouse
Great when we were ready to collapse!
outside! The staff organising things are lovely and speak fabulous English, so we are really lucky. Conference registration even came with a 5-day metro pass, sponsored by the city of Toulouse.
I am keen to cycle a portion of the Canal-du-Midi, however my longer cycling ideas in France seem to be thwarted by either torrential rain (2013), or ridiculous heat (2015). My somewhat quiet suggestion that we do a short ride along the canal today was howled down by the group, which I suspected might happen as it's 37 degrees in the shade. (We have now caught up with my friend and business partner Suzanne, her husband Brendan and their son Josh).
Instead, we had a look at some of the sights in the centre of Toulouse. It's a particularly pretty city, with an impressive 16th century bridge across the lovely river. The Toulouse Pont Neuf is the only bridge which survived some savage floods many years ago, thanks to the decorative but functional holes in its arches.
That information is courtesy of the little white tourist Train, which we took advantage of when our legs were too tired and we were too hot to walk any
further. We donned our headphones, sat back, and relaxed as we were driven around the city. Salads were the order of the day for lunch, and on the way home we shopped at the local supermarket for dinner, which we ate on Suzanne and Brendan's outdoor table overlooking the garden. A swim first ensured we stayed relatively comfortable. It will be a big work day tomorrow and we are looking forward to an early night. Isabel and I are planning our shutter/window/fan plan with military precision. Wish us luck.
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