Final pit stop on the week-long Spain extravaganza was Toulouse. A great French city that I wish I would have visited when I wasn’t exhausted from sightseeing and traveling.
We arrived on Saturday and spent some time walking around and seeing a few important things. We had a hotel far away from the center, so we wanted to go there last. We saw a couple things, had some dinner, and headed on back pretty early. Our hotel was at what is probably the furthest point from the center of Toulose. Not going to lie, I was a bit scared because next to our hotel was one of those old motorhome type things with broken windows and no wheels. Also, there was maybe one other room that was full. It was called Hotel Chez Tony and was actually really nice. I made the mistake of asking the reception man, who became our friend, if he was "Mr. Tony" and he kindly replied, "Tony die long time ago". Needless to say, I felt a little bad. It made for a good laught though later on. That night is when Klara and I began writing our “Les Vacanes d’hiver” rap. Maybe I can become famous like that 13-year old who sings “Friday” or whatever that annoying song is.
We saw the capital building, Congress, Sports center, and the Japanese Gardens which were my favorite. It was so pretty there and very relaxing. There was a cute, red bridge that connected one side of the park to this “island” type house. I even met the Zen master! We walked along the river and found the university, and pretty churches. One was Les Jacobins. The Jacobins were a big religious group in French history that would build these amazing churches. Not going to lie, it wasn’t Sagrada Familia but it was definitely pretty. One thing I really liked about Les Jacobins in Toulouse was that it was all so old. There wasn’t much remodeling done to it so you could see the oldness in the bricks and the paint. It was pretty cool!
|I love this bridge.|
|Je suis "zen".|
|Outside of Les Jacobins.|
We crossed Pont Neuf and found a patch of green grass to have our lunch in on Sunday. The weather could not have been more perfect. The sun was shining, a nice breeze, and right next to the river. La vie est belle! After an hour long lunch/sunbathing session, we continued on. We discovered an old hospital that was famous for helping people during what we think was the Black Plague. It was backed up right along the river at a point with lots of waterfalls. It was neat! We then ran into an art museum, and, since it was the first Sunday of the month, it was free! We decided we had nothing better to do so we went for it. It was all modern art. I don’t quite understand some parts of modern art, so it was different to say the least. I enjoyed it, but I am glad it was free!
We walked through another park that was huge! It had little cafes inside and lots of gardens and statues. People were everywhere profiting from the sunshine! It was crazy busy but still very pretty. After passing the Opera house, we discovered another museum that was also free! We went into it and I wish we had gone earlier. It was really cool and had lots of Roman sculptures and paintings. It was a museum with a bit of everything.
After sightseeing and being worn completely out, we went to the train station and caught our train home to sweet Limoges. Thinking we were all going to pass out from exhaustion, we all attempted but failed miserably. Poor Klara had some homework and my insistent self wanted to learn Czech. We ended up passing the last two hours on the train with my horrible pronunciation and sad attempts at words and trying (again) to teach me how to French braid. As we got closer to Limoges, Jacques was going to pick us up and we decided to play a joke on him. Okay, not “we”, just Klara and I. Kelli wasn’t too big of a fan of this idea. We had called Jacques on Saturday in Toulouse just to see how much he “missed” us (yeah right!) and we told him that we hadn’t eaten in three days and we had no money and just tried to make him feel bad for us! Klara and I decided also to tell him that our hotel didn’t have water (which it did) and to tell him that it was at the “end of the world” (which it really was!). We took some of my eyeshadow that was a black color and put it on our faces to make us look dirty and we messed up our hair to look like we hadn’t showered. It was a good idea in theory but we didn’t execute it very well!
When we arrived at 11:00 that night, Jacques claims he picked up “sewer rats”! I guess we pulled it off somewhat, but then again, Jacques is a man who probably thought we looked normal! We did get a free kebab out of the deal for dinner so Klara and I aren’t complaining. Our purpose was to drive home the idea to him that we don’t have to have money to have a good trip. We can find free ways to entertain ourselves and we can also eat cheap. It doesn’t take millions to have a good time. Klara and I decided to let him feel bad for us (since the man has no feelings!) for a few days, but then we kind of, okay we did, forget to ever tell him we were lying. I still don’t know if he knows….
All in all, my Spain experience was very fun! I am extremely happy that I got to visit Spain and that I spent it with who I did. What I learned from this trip was to plan out how to get to your hotels from the train stations before you leave, know what it is you want to see and sort of have a plan, and realize that everything on the map does not have to be seen. A vacation should be something to be enjoyed and not stressing if you spent twenty minutes at one shop instead of walking towards a destination. Also, keep in mind that after a week of traveling and walking everywhere, you are going to be tired and may not want to visit one more city “just because” the train stops there or just because you can. While you should see what you can, it is also important, in my opinion, to enjoy the city and see what the culture of that city is like. It isn’t all about tourism and monuments.
Needless to say, after nine days of being away, Limoges and my miserable twin-sized bed felt just right. I was so glad to be home and even use my push-on-every-thirty-seconds-shower!