Just a short morning tour in the rose city, so called because of the red brick buildings, and also known for their rugby club.

Contradictory? Perhaps. Just a few days ago I heard a Scottish comedian saying that you can tell a lot about a nation by looking at their breakfast. The French eat croissants, so they are flaky and a little gay!

I had a flight from Toulouse (home of Airbus) to Prague after a stay in Leucate and only spent one night. So just a morning tour.

The French were striking (as they often are), so we arrived on a train on a go slow. Something upset them and the dustbins come out on the streets, street fires are lit and everyone shouts ‘vive la France, vive la revolution‘. What exactly the link is between the revolution and wages in the 21st century is beyond me, but I guess they keep the spirit burning.

At least in France you always have entertainment. Two Frenchmen joined me on the train. The fact that I said there was no room for them with all the luggage, kept reading my book and said I don’t speak French was of no effect. What does it matter that I don’t speak French. They can speak it very well, so that’s ok.

Perhaps its because of the revolution that the French have this sense of community going or perhaps the other way around. If you are having a crisis, the French are right there with you. Whatever the crisis.

In this case the grêve. There is still a train, if you don’t mind waiting till this afternoon. And then it stops more than it goes. I suppose the timetable gets complicated with all the changes. But then they have the changes to often, I guess they have a special stike timetable.

Well we made it to Toulouse after leaving one guy, a chef, in a tiny village he had never been before, but accepted a job in, -good luck to him. The other guy let me off in Toulouse, he was on his way home if memory serves. His dad is verger at the cathedral in Chartre. Do we have something on Chartre yet?

He was nice enough to carry my bag off the train, he had to ask if I had a piano in there, but was galant enough to carry it any way. That’s how you know you are in France. The conductor helps you with your luggage if someone else hasn’t already.

Enough idle chatter (it costs lives you know 😉 ), on to the photos.

The Garonne flows past. If I have it right they extended the river in the 18th century to make the canal du midi linking the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean.

It doen’t seem to be used commercially any more. Tourists still go on barques on the system. Next to the canals are old tow paths. People, or horses towing the boats used them to walk alongside the water. They say it is not too hard to tow a boat, they glide quite well. I haven’t tried.

Today people ride bicycles on these old tow paths and think they work less hard now 😉

Just look at the river. Majestic, no less.

If you read French or want to go to a lot of trouble, here’s a sign for you to read.


Oh and here’s another.


PS – Did you see the one about Catalonia?

Regards from the Netherlands!


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