I don't really know Toulouse despite numerous visits - we used to stay in The Grand Balcon right on the Place du Capitol when we were vaguely thinking amount a move to France. The hotel was amazing - about fifteen quid a night with lumpy old beds and ancient plumbing; sadly now revamped into something classy and the rooms more like 150.00 quid a night.
Arriving on the train early in the morning, I wandered the quiet streets ending up at The Capitol where a group of Japanese women tourists were having a sing, lead by one lady with a ukulele.
After a hot choc at a café that should have the award for the most 'bof' manageress in the whole of South-West France I walked on to the Abattoir art gallery which was closed for the day but spent a long time watching the rolling Garonne pass by. It struck me that the water I was observing would at some point later that day be arriving in Bordeaux where my son currently lives. And I texted him as much, him being a muser too . . .
A number of tents had sprung up along the main boulevard near the art gallery. I gave some money to a small boy who was sitting with a broken bowl in hand, then asked him where the family were from. Albania, he said.
Rather disturbingly, just on the other side of the fence from the tents the already manicured municipal gardens were being re-planted. Slightly wrong priorities?
I found a street I hadn't noticed before which was full of shops selling wildly unnecessary items but I did love this glass jelly fish lamp. . .
Then it was time for my RDV with a neck specialist. I've had this thing for nearly thirty years now, and have been huffed at, almost jeered at and generally been ignored as it's a small but niggly pain that seems to stem from virtually nothing, and has just got worse over time. THIS doctor was a revelation. He spent about half an hour carefully listening then did lots of thorough examinations and pinpointed where the pain is coming from. Sadly, nothing much can be done but at least I know what it is; it's not life-threatening and I can go back and see him after another IRM scan which I, oddly, rather like - see some post, way back about being in one of these machines.
After this, I found a tiny little lost-in-the-70s Indian restaurant and enjoyed onion pakora, fish curry and 'delice' de mango for about nine euros. Needing a sit down rather than walking, I went back to the river and water gazing - amazing quantities of river weed covered in tiny white flowers or shells? difficult to tell at a distance. On the other bank, huge works were happening, including re-pointing the kilometres of Toulouse pink brick walls - massive scaffolding with about six people working.
the Monika Indian restaurant
a bit of repointing
very tenacious ash tree
On the way back to the station I noticed this fabulous bit of late? Art Deco and this recently repainted 'Guggenheim' 50s car park. Not just the city of the 'rose' brick. I shall return and explore further.