Top 5 Favorite Things about Toulouse

Musée des Augustins

It’s time to say goodbye again. In just about a week or so, we will be packing up once again and moving to a new location. Next stop? Frankfurt, Germany.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve spent the past five months living in France. It’s even harder to believe it’s already time for our journey to take us to the next country.

It’ll be sad to leave this city that’s finally started to feel like home, but we feel lucky for having lived here as long as we have. That’s why today I felt it would be appropriate to talk about my top five favorite things about Toulouse.

1.The Markets. Hands down the open-air markets are my favorite thing about Toulouse. We buy our fruits and veggies fresh nearly daily from the stands on Boulevard de Strasbourg. We pick up meat, cheese and other tasty treats from the Victor Hugo Market. We marvel at the new and vintage goods hawked at the Sunday market at Saint-Aubin and weekly market at the Capitol. The French truly know how to shop.

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2.The Bread. The French do good food. I mean really good. But the bread. Well, it’s hard to beat a fresh loaf of French bread—crusty on the outside, warm and chewy on the inside. Serve it up with a little fresh butter or cheese, some olives and veggies and you’ve got yourself a tasty meal. I know we’re both going to miss the fresh bread we pick up from the boulangeries or markets several times a week. They’re all good, but we managed to find our favorite: Le Fournil de Victor Hugo right across from the Victor Hugo Market on, you guessed it, Place Victor Hugo.

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3.The Architecture. Toulouse is known as the “Pink City” for its buildings constructed in red brick. At sunset, it seems to practically glow in the fading daylight. There are some standout buildings too (not just made of brick). Take the Capitol for example. That building is a true stunner. Also the Musée des Augustins which is a convent-turned-art museum; this building may be simple on the outside, but the inside features gorgeous vaulted ceilings and sweeping staircases. The mix of (very) old and new makes Toulouse a visually delightful city to live in.

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Toulouse at sunset
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Musée des Augustins

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4.The Gardens and Canals. There’s not much better on a warm summer or fall day than running along the Canal du Midi or packing a picnic for one of the great parks in Toulouse, like the Japanese Gardens and the Jardin des Plantes. The river walk along the Garonne can also be very pretty, especially when admiring some of the beautiful bridges that connect one side of the city to the other.

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Canal du Midi
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Jardin des Plantes
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The Japanese Gardens

5.The Culture and People. Living in France for five months is a great way to better understand the culture. At a recent expat party, I met a psychologist who told me “the French people are deep.” She had worked in other countries, but she loved France for that very reason. I can understand what she means. People here (and, yes, I’m generalizing) are passionate and thoughtful. They take their time to enjoy each other and enjoy life. I hope when we leave, at least some of that passion and pure joy for life can permanently stick with us.

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Yes, we’ll be sad to say goodbye to yet another home, but I’m sure Frankfurt will have plenty of new adventures for us when we get there. Until then, we’ll try to soak up every last bit of France we can.

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The Capitol at night.

 

 

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