Toulouse and Bordeaux, France (Part 1)

Map of the city
Map of Toulouse

It has been a long time since my last post. Things have been crazy with finals, COVID-19, and returning home (more about that on my next post). Before all of that happened, my friends and I had an amazing trip to France!

After the trip to London, I had a trip to Toulouse and Bordeaux booked. It is a good idea to book trips in advance if you know what weekends are available. Sometimes, it is better to spontaneously book trips. This trip was booked right after the London trip. London was fun, but I was exhausted after the trip. I needed to catch up on sleep and have a day to do absolutely nothing.

For this trip, I had to meet Kimi and a couple of other friends at the Galway bus station in the middle of the night (2:30 am). Our flight to Dublin left around 7 am, which meant we would arrive at our first destination (Toulouse) in the morning. during the bus ride, I was not able to get any sleep. On the plane, I was able to get some sleep but the flight was short.  Sleep was nonexistent for any of us on this trip.  Besides sleep, I also had to worry about language because I do not know any French. My vocabulary consisted of ” Bonjour, oui, and, merci”. Thankfully I had Kimi on this trip who knew a bit of French. Enough to get us through. We also had the Google Translate App which helped us translate menus and other important things.

From the airport, we purchased bus tickets to take us to the city. Once we got off the bus, we decided to walk around and explore on our own. One of the first things we did was look for a place to eat because we were all hungry! First, we ended up at a Greek place. We were looking for breakfast meals but this place specialized in lunch and dinner meals. We only got drinks and small pastries here and decided to keep looking. We then ended up at a sandwich shop and decided to eat here, because our day would be long.

The Pink City... La Ville Rose
Toulouse aka The Pink City aka La Ville Rose
Walking the streets of Toulouse
Walking the streets of the pink city.
Crossing the Bridge
Walks across the bridge before the hail storm started.

After our brunch, we walked around the city but then the rain started. None of us were prepared for it, so we had to find a place to stay dry. Once we found a place, we had to stay there for around 10 minutes. After the rain stopped pouring like crazy, we walked some more and ended up at different cathedrals. We also took a walk around the river and crossed some bridges. While we were crossing the bridge, it started hailing hard and we had nowhere to go. Of anything that could happen on this trip, this was probably the worst. The hail was hitting us at full speed and we couldn’t turn back because we were halfway across the bridge. Our only option was to run to the end of the bridge, but we still had a long way to go.

Walks by the river
Walks by the river.
Inside the cathedral
Cathedral in Toulouse
Cathedral
Cathedral… if you zoom closely, you can see little figures spitting out the water from the rain.

After that, we decided to go to a cafe to stay warm and avoid the rain/ hail. While we were at the cafe, we started planning for dinner and needed to find the location of our Airbnb. We wanted to eat dinner as close to the place we were staying as we possibly could. That way, we wouldn’t have to walk a long distance very late at night.

Wine bottles
Wine from a small shop we stopped at.

Before our night plans, we walked around some more and looked inside more cathedrals. We also stopped at gift shops to buy souvenirs. We ended up getting postcards, key chains, wine openers, and other small things. I ended up getting a tote bag with some images of Toulouse and it has become my favorite thing I have bought! Throughout the day, I got to know more about the other girls that were on this trip!

Dinner
Delicious dinner at La Gouaille.

As night came, we started walking towards the restaurant. The restaurant we went to was Restaurant La Gouaille. The person serving us was very kind and helpful to us, especially because he knew that we were not fluent in French. He recommended some of the dishes and I ended up getting a chicken dish that came with sweet potatoes, rice, and a salad. Before our food came, we all had a salad and some bread. The bread was warm and the salad had a lot of flavors. At that point, if that was all I had for dinner, I wouldn’t complain. It was THAT good. We also ordered some wine to share between us. Afterwards, we were just sitting and talking and the restaurant started to get busy. The person helping us asked us if we can go to the bar area because others wanted to eat. He felt bad about doing that but we understood. He ended up giving all of us a free shot of rum. By now, it was almost time for us to check into the Airbnb.  Ciara and I decided to walk around for a bit more. While we were walking, we came upon a small place that had crepes. Since we were in France, we decided to get crepes.

After this small adventure, we decided to head to the Airbnb with the other girls. The place we got was a small apartment and it was so cute! If I was living alone and had my own place in France, this apartment would be it. I regret not taking any pictures of this place. We were all tired and showered before we fell asleep. We had to wake up early the next day to catch a bus to Bordeaux.

Jessica

Building
I don’t remember where I took this picture but I loved this building!
Flowers
Flowers at a cute flower shop we came upon.