Today started with a chevre bacon quiche and cafe au lait. Can I just say…what a way to get the day started! (Oh let me back up a bit…it actually started with my doing yoga and Rhonda running. I skipped forward right to the delicious part.) The charming white-haired French gentlemen was so accommodating in trying to help me with my french language skills, as well as getting us situated at a small table outside with melt-in-your mouth mini-quiches that we couldn’t stop talking about. Yes, I do realize that I have previously used the phrase “melt-in-your mouth” during this trip, and you will likely hear it again. The French have a love affair with food, and it is most certainly contagious.
From breakfast we went on our city tour of Toulouse, www.citytour-toulouse.com, riding on the top level of an adorable red mini-bus. We got the grand tour of gardens, squares, canals, markets, and cathedrals. What a fabulous way to see the city! As we drove around with the British voice describing the history and details in our headphones, we tried to make note of all the places we wanted to return to for further research. We came back to the Jardin des Plantes, walked around for a while and then sat observing people, relaxing, and taking in the culture – and perhaps a couple of macaroons. This is another place where I could use the “melt-in-your mouth” phrase, but I don’t want to overdo it.
After a long day of miles of walking and exploring, and trying to navigate the twisting, name-changing streets, we headed back to the hotel to rest before venturing out again in search of dinner. We asked for a recommendation from the hotel front desk, and did they ever deliver. Down a narrow street was a cafe with red and white checkered table cloths and curtains. The specials included duck breast and salmon with leeks and cream sauce. Yes please. The friendly French waiters, the perfectly prepared food, and the so affordable French wine all created such an amazing close to our day. C’était magnifique (It was magnificent)!
After being in Toulouse for a day and a half, we both summarize the city as vibrant, friendly, and warm, with fabulous outdoor space and beautiful architecture intertwined into a blend of old and modern. Tomorrow our plan is to try out the metro system and see some of the neighborhoods outside the city center. À bientôt!