I’m writing this little story sitting on a wonderful terrace in Seville, I never thought that a 2 stars hotel could have a place like this, with free coffee, free Wi Fi, no kids around and a great view. God bless internet, always.
I landed in Toulouse last Thursday, first thing that happened was the creepy guy that was trying to wait behind me in the toilet that wasn’t closed for key issues. “Man get the fuck out I’m pissing”, were my first words in France, kindly accompanying the asshole at the door.
After checking my little studio apartment (pretty good for the money I spent, the metro station was 40m from my place and there was a little kitchen, fridge and everything else) in about 7 minutes I was in the city center.
Getting out out of the metro station and walking a couple of minutes I saw a little sunny square full of people peacefully hangin out; an old carousel was standing in the center of it and a violin was playing somewhere. Yes, a violin. Street musicians are everywhere in Toulouse.
I bought a ham and cheese baguette and I sit there on a bench and an old man with a white hat said “Bon Apetit” to me, in the perfect welcome to France stereotype.
Then I went to Point Neuf, a bridge that crosses the city, and the picture below is from La Daurade park, a sunny meadow where everyone was peacefully drinking beer ( and smoking pot) lying down at the sun.
Street performers, musicians with guitars and transverse flutes, old men and women, children and so on, even a couple of cats.
Obviously I get a beer after a couple of minutes on the meadow and yes, was awesome.
( the beer wasn’t awesome, too sweet to be a beer honestly).
After that evening, the next days I walked like crazy. I have to check if my smartphone has a pedometer or something like that but I’m pretty sure that I walked 200 km or something similar.
The Tolosa’s Cathedral is one of the must see even if you don’t care about art history, I liked it even more than the Saint Sernin one.
Especially the apse behind the altar, I have a lot of pictures of it but this is going to be very long and boring for who doesn’t give a damn about incredibly beautiful churches so, just this picture:
Another place that catched my attention was the Musee des Agustins, a museum with a collection from Middle Ages to early 1900, with a temporary Renaissance expo. And honestly I was not too much into the exposition, but definitely more for the courtyard. Was very silent, with a small garden full of plants.
Even here walking around the whole building, in some points you could heard the sound of a violin, and just that.
What hit you in Toulouse is the atmosphere all around the city, especially during the week, during the weekend is obviously full of people and is definitely not the same thing.
Walking around the city you can find that every meadow is full of people napping or drinking something together, even single ones.
Oh, and everyone ride a bicycle here. Even unicycles.
Fun fact, a couple of days ago I was in the park that I mentioned in the beginning, smoking a cigarette after breakfast. Still sleepy I was staring at the river thinking about nothing, when I heard a strong noise to my right and a bad noise of something falling on the ground.
Turning my head I saw an old man with some small glasses and a grey ponytail crushed on the meadow and the smartphone of another man a couple of meters away. The poor guy felt off by the unicycle and smashed the other guy’s phone on the ground. Sorry for laughs you’re gonna be the best dude, just keep trying!
Some stereotypes about France are yes, pretty real. ( Unicycles included) For example the wine is very good, completely true, the cheese too is awesome and even not too expensive at the supermarket. And yes, nobody speaks English, ( maybe worst than Italy if it’s possible?) even in places where a couple of English words have been helpful, like Pharmacies or Airport, it’s 2018 guys!
In a few words, Toulouse is one of that places that make you think a lot of times: “wow, that’s beautiful”, even if you are a black minded guy like me. (Who see everything even too cloudy)
Could be La Garonne, that become golden at the sunset maybe; or the smell of flowers in the narrow streets of the city center, or the sound of a piano or a violin while sitting in a bar when outside is raining, and a couple on a bicycle is peacefully strolling not worrying about it (true story, perfect movie shot).
At the first sight and without scratching too much the surface obviously, yes, France looks a lot like movies.
By the way Seville is very sunny and full of palm trees, but it’s the next story.