Tuesday 28 June 2016

Bienvenue à Toulouse!

With an ongoing beach house project, supplier meetings and a hectic work schedule,  the big K and I weren't planning on any long haul vacation anytime soon. So for our birthday getaway treat we were looking forward to simply relaxing by the beach in the company of a good book while sipping our favorite Mojito drink all day long. Sweet!

But happily, things don't always work out as planned..... because my darling big K, on short notice, was asked to attend a training on his requested leave days, our birthday getaway! If that weren't enough, his training was all the way in Toulouse, France! (Insert big smiley face here!)

Needless to say with barely a month to prepare for the trip, I was all in a frenzy gathering papers needed for my Shengen visa application (Aah! The perks of a citizen from a 3rd world country!). Aaaand.... I also had to come up with a two-week itinerary. Yup! The big K got his vacation days moved after his training so we could go on a side trip. (Insert another BIG smiley... wait, make that grinning-Cheshire-cat face here!)

The oldest fountain in Toulouse at Place Saint-Étienne.

La Ville Rose (The Pink City)

My first visit to Toulouse was few a years back with the big K when he was part of a crew who took delivery of a brand new aircraft from Airbus. It was such a short visit that we really weren't able to see much of the city. This time I was looking forward on a more leisurely sight-seeing tour of the place.

Nicknamed la Ville Rose or Pink City because of its unique pinkish terracotta brick architecture, Toulouse is located in the southwest of France and is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Canal du Midi and the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe, the Basilica of Saint-Sernin.

Going around the city is no problem as it is served by an easily, accessible public transportation network (metro, tram and bus). Most of the tourist sites are located within the city center which is pretty compact and is best seen on foot as you get to discover its charming nooks and crannies most often reserved for pedestrians. Plus you get that much needed exercise to justify pigging out on their mouthwatering local specialties!

On y va!

Le Capitole de Toulouse.

La Basilique Saint-Sernin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Les Couvents des Jacobins contains the relics of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Le Musée des Augustins de Toulouse used to be a monastery of the Hermits of St. Augustine, an order
dependent on charity that was founded in the 13th century. It is now a fine arts museum. 

Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Toulouse consisting of two incomplete churches resulting in its peculiar
façade and interior.

Canal de Brienne connecting the Garonne river to the Canal du Midi.

The Pont Saint-Pierre spanning the Garonne River with the l'hôpital de La Grave on the background.

Pont-Neuf and the Hotel Dieu Saint-Jacques along the Garonne river.

A hidden gem, the Chapelle des Carmelites, stark in its simplicity
holds a lovely surprise inside! 

Perfect place for a picnic, the beautiful and peaceful Japanese Garden near the Canal du Midi.

Toulouse Tourist office at the back of the Capitole.

More photos in our Facebook page.

Where we stayed:

Citadines Wilson Toulouse

Aparthotel Adagio Parthenon Toulouse

Novotel Toulouse Centre Wilson Hotel

How to get here:

By air : Toulouse-Blagnac Airport

By train : SNCF (Société nationale des chemins de fer Français)

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