We were prepared for an early morning so that we could join the Parisien commuters for our final Metro ride on this leg of the trip to Gare d’Austerlitz to catch the high speed 7 hours south to Toulouse.
I had packed precious provisions for the train ride as we were unsure how the day would unfold – as it turns out my remaining Poilane bread smeared with brie and smokey ham with fresh fruit was welcomed between naps.
We sped through the Aquitaine countryside to Midi Pyrenees region and after a peaceful ride – Voila – Toulouse. The trains even on the busiest Paris metros are VERY quiet. People speak softly and do not draw attention to themselves. Tourists can be easily recognized, because of this simple thing. (Two couples travelling into Paris from Versailles were extremely annoying in this regard…so if you’re from Tennessee, you may know who you are…).
Once in Toulouse – Le Capitale des Violettes – we are enveloped in Friday afternoon life – people gathering, people heading home (they drive with baguettes on the dash of their car or in the basket of their bicycle or scooter like we drive with travel mugs for coffee).
My Paparrazo took a break today and we easily found our cozy bed for the night at Novotel Toulouse (very lovely, great petit dejeuner, a real value hotel – good find honey). With helpful service at the front desk, we made dinner reservations at ‘Meet the Meat’. Not very French ‘sounding’ BUT I was keen for a steak and they did not disappoint! A rib steak with rocquefort sauce with a side of potato gratin (think scallop, Canadians) so delicious – every bite was more delicious than the last.
With the beautiful weather in the evening we meandered around the small shops and made some purchases for loved ones. We found a fascinating parapharmacy – it sold more types of Dr. Scholl sandals that I could dream existed. Herbal remedies abounded. We spent a lot of time looking around – it was a very cool store. After we finished our mini Toulouse tour, we reluctantly went back to the room, reorganized our stuff (again) and prepared for the beginning of our Harley Davidson Tour de France.
In keeping with my value travel – here’s the run down – Train Pass, Meet the Meet Dinner, Some Personal Purchases (including Violette perfume) all for $71!
Our southern France adventure is about to begin…