It’s been a while since I’ve been able to go on a day trip anywhere due to train strikes and cancellations due to flooding, but this weekend I was able to visit the city of Toulouse in 8 hours. Being able to take a trip into a big city is important for me now that I’m living in a smaller city that doesn’t have as much going on all the time. After 5 months of living in the Occitanie region of France, I finally got to spend some time in “la ville rose,” whose nickname comes from the pretty brick buildings the city is built from.
When I arrived with my travel companion, it was a bit cold and rainy, not ideal for a day trip in the South of France. Since our train left at 6AM, we hadn’t had breakfast yet so finding a café was the first thing on our list. After walking past Place du Capitole and a cute farmers’ market we found a café, Le Florida, which was on our list of recommendations! We had a traditional French breakfast which included a croissant, bread, butter and jam, orang juice, and a hot beverage. I had an Earl Grey, which isn’t really French, but I wasn’t in the mood for coffee.
After breakfast, the rain stopped, but it was still cloudy as we made our way down a cute little street towards the Basilica. On our way we stopped in another church, Notre Dame du Taur.
Walking along, I began to see why this place was known as the Pink City. Everywhere you look there are cute and colorful buildings.
At the end of the street we reached the Basilica, which was enormous. I’ll be honest, after living in France for 2.5 years I’m kind of sick of visiting Cathedrals, but I still go to admire the architecture and learn about the history of the city. One of my favorite things about the churches here are the stained-glass windows.
Speaking of churches, after the Basilica, we then headed towards the Cathedral.
Before heading to lunch, we took a stroll through the Jardin des Plantes and saw some flowers and animals.
We were still not hungry after our walk, so we decided to walk some more and we ended up by le Canal du Midi, which leads all the way to the Mediterranean! It was fun looking at all of the barges and we even saw one that was converted into a yoga studio!
Finally we sat down for lunch at a restaurant called Au Peilharote. I had a piece of Spanish omelette for an appetizer and some veggie lasagne for my main course. My boyfriend and travel buddy had a traditional dish, Cassoulet, which is a hearty dish made with white beans, sausage and duck. We also opted for some fancy organic juices instead of wine. The food here was so good, but extremely rich. Sometimes I find it hard being a vegetarian in France because the veggie dishes are usually very heavy because of butter, cream, and cheese (things I try to avoid eating when I cook for myself).
When we finished our meal, we went to the Couvent des Jacobins and walked around the free part of the convent.
To finish our journey, we took a little stroll along the Garonne before catching the metro to get back to the train station.
However, when we got to the station we learned that part of the train was cancelled so we had to take a bus to another town and then catch the train from there. The bus ride ended up being two hours, then we had to wait 40 more minutes for the next train. We got back home two more hours later. Somehow it made sense that there would be some sort of transportation problem! Despite the long travel time, I’m happy I got to visit Toulouse and I hope to go again soon!
Thanks for reading! And checkout my youtube channel, and vlog for this trip!
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