Beer & chat @ Toulouse

After coming back from Toulouse’s shopping district, we headed to a restaurant / bar near our hotel for beer and food. It was a rather hot and humid day and the idea of drinking ice cold beer really appealed to us.

I am so glad that your hip is getting better, mum!

She certainly was more comfortable than a few days ago.

While mum stuck to a glass of well-known brand, I opted for a white beer from Belgium.

The beer was aromatic and strong. I liked it!

For food, we shared sausage & chips and salad with cheese.

During our dinner, an elderly couple were ushered to a table next to ours. At first, we didn’t pay much attention to them and carried on chatting in Japanese as we sipped our beer and pecked on our food.

Then out of the blue, the elderly woman turned to us and started talking to us, ‘Vous êtes Japonais? J’adore le son du Japonais même si je ne comprends pas!’

From my very limited French, I gathered that they were here for holiday like us. In return, I explained to them how we arrived at the city and how we intended to travel to the south of France and beyond.

‘We used to live in Vietnam.’, her husband said. Until then, he was very quiet and only nodding in support while his wife was chatting to us.

It was again due to my limited ability to communicate in French but he was trying to say that they used to live in Vietnam when they were young but they had to flee their beloved house and community because of the Vietnam War. ‘C’était très très triste.’ They both shook their heads. Oh how I wished if my French were a lot better so I could express how sorry I was! ‘C’était trés tragique.’, I managed to say but nothing else…

When we went back to our hotel, we discussed how upsetting it must have been if you were uprooted from your home because of reasons beyond your control. There are still so many people who have to abandon their homes and communities because of conflicts and natural disasters. We really mustn’t forget our sympathy and compassion towards those unlucky people…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Rue d’Alsace Lorraine

We alighted the metro at Capitole and walked up the stairs to a street level.

Square Charles de Gaulle was basking in the late afternoon sunshine.

I needed to buy some light summery tops because the weather was too warm for all the stuffs I brought with me from UK.

Conveniently, ZARA was right in front of the square, therefore, I started my clothes hunting from there.

After rifling through their clothes rails, I opted for a sleeveless top with a lace detail around the neck.

Then, I spotted a pair of cute Capri sandals in the shop window on Rue d’Alsace Lorraine and decided to try them on. ‘Est-ce que vous avez taille 35?’ I asked one of very friendly vendeuses.

One thing I really loved about shopping in France was most of the shops I visited carried small sizes. For example, I hardly had found any shoe smaller than 36 in UK but in France, I witnessed many models of shoes on the shop floor did start from 35.

Mum encouraged me to take time to choose a pair since we would be moving on to Avignon the next day, therefore, I wouldn’t be able to return them if I changed my mind overnight.

Eventually, I decided on a pair of flat sandals with gold and tan leather and walked out of the shop as a one very satisfied customer.

‘Shall we buy our grocery at Monoprix?’

We bought some fruits and yoghurt at the supermarket and strolled back to the metro station.

Mum posing in front of Mairie de Toulouse…

Now, let’s find a restaurant for well-deserved beer and snack!!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Gare de Toulouse-Matabiau

After circling around our hotel in a state of semi-panic more than a few times because all the approaches we should have taken in order to access a car park were blocked by extensive roadworks happening on Allée Jean Jaurès and Boulevard Bonrepos.

Eventually, we decided to park at a multi-story car park next to Gare de Toulouse Matabiau.

Must take a picture so I won’t forget where our car is.

The mainline station was undergoing a major facelift…

After checking in at the hotel, we headed back to the station. ‘Mum, why don’t we try the metro?’ We needed to do some shopping and there weren’t many shops around our hotel.

There were two policemen in the station concourse when we walked in. So I asked one of them if he could point us towards the metro entrance. He told us to use the stairs further up and to follow the sign. I thanked him and we headed to the stairs.

Which ticketing machines are for the metro???

I can’t remember which one was the correct one but eventually I managed to buy two sets of the returns for us.

Down the escalator…

And on the platform…

We used the line A from Marengo-SNCF to Capitole.

Our little adventure in Toulouse commences!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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