Edit Blog Post
Published: August 17th 2017
The expression pretty in pink springs to mind when visiting this rose of a city. Toulouse is renowned for it's uniformly "pink" terracotta coloured roofing. In certain lights, you can certainly see a rosy halo which bathes the city in the warmest of hues. Compared to other cities we have been to, there was a marked lack of tourists around. It was a nice departure from the usual mass of humanity we routinely encountered in our travels. Toulouse is a very walkable city, just as well as we only had a day there really as we changed the itinerary to have one night here to break up what would be an otherwise painful train ride. As it was, the overnight train ride was painful anyway. There were no phone/device charging points (odd considering that such a long service would have some slight form of entertainment. Alas, we got by with trying to sleep and avoid awkwardly bumping knees with the people sitting in the seats facing us. There is a certain level of awkwardness (extreme) that comes from being the only two seats facing the rest of the train cabin and trying to sleep in front of people. We managed maybe
an hour or two of sleep on that journey. Think I preferred the plane even. Anyway, back to the pretty city. Our hostel was a quiet one (yay!), with four beds. We spent some of our evening chatting to one of our roomies, a 21 year old French muso who's English with somewhat decent English. There were still some language barriers but it was fun to try and make meaning and find alternative words and gestures that would convey what we were saying when we failed (which was often haha). He had just seen the Lord of the Rings movies recently and asked us if the scenery was really like that, to which we responded with a casual "yeah, everywhere is kinda like that". Easy to take NZ's preternatural beauty for granted and seeing foreigners' amazement at it must be akin to what they feel when we explore their homelands. The next day we set out to see the sights. First up was a cathedral I wanted to see. We found a different one instead. It was rather nice, a bit spartan on the inside compared to some other cathedrals I've seen. Interesting that it is sometimes the smaller or
less obviously impressive looking cathedrals that possess the most charm and ornate complexity in design on the inside. We then wandered down to see the main square. I was excited to see they had a book and vinyl market happening there (Lisa, you'd love this!). They had some great old records and some strange French ones. Wish I could have taken them all home, alas bulky delicate things that they are, so it wasn't to be. We went down some rather long streets soaking up the colourful large old buildings in the old town, and eventually came across St Etienne's cathedral. I was actually looking for this, so to accidentally find it was a treat. The pipe organ was playing also (love this instrument!) which made the experience even more awesome. I'd never heard a big ole pipe organ play in a church so loved the acoustics and deep tones that resonated throughout the lovely church. I could have listened to it all day. Alas, Bex is not as fond of cathedrals or pipe organs as myself, so we left. We spent the rest of our time before our departure to head for a big walk down by the canal.
There were a fair few house boats in various hues tethered to their posts. All this was framed by tall and leafy arched trees stretching down the canals following us for our walk, limbs outstretched like welcoming arms. I loved it. It was a nice change of pace here, and a welcome addition to our somewhat breakneck pace of our trip. To Toulouse, I salute you 😊
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