Saturday, September 11, 2010

Toulouse - Adventures with Juliet

I caught a train, my system of transport all over France, which has been great. I have seen so much of the beautiful country side, old building and farms that I feel that I have seen the heart of the French beauty. Yet on this trip from Aix to Toulouse I sat on the train for a good 10hr, on what was a 6hr trip. The train stopped in a town called Montpellier and sat there for 4hrs. Not knowing any French I remained on my seat hoping that the train would just start. It didn't. So I built up my courage and attempted to speak with an old man and work out what was happening, he said 'there is a fire, and we are delayed an hour'. I was think ok, an hour. That hour passed, and so did another. I was starting to get worried as I had no phone, no internet, and no way to contact Juliet to let her know my situation and when I would arrive. A french girl came up to me and kindly must have noticed my confusion and tried to give me further detail on the situation. we finally started moving at around 9pm, and eventually I arrived at Toulouse at midnight. I went out side hoping there was a pay phone, but they only took a card. So I went inside to think, sitting on a bench. In the process I managed to sit in a puddle. So with wet pants, and a hungry belly I approached security and explained my situation, they took me out the back and let me ring Juliet.
It was so wonderful to see Juliet! Not just because I was tired, but having a smiling Aussie face from home just made me feel all warm inside.
I spent a lovely 4 days with Juliet. The first day was spent exploring Toulouse. We wandered through the streets going underground into a old tunnel to listen to afro-cuban music that was hidden under a mushroom cafe. We sleep in the park and rummaged through vintage stores. Had a yummy pizza lunch and a delicious dinner with a group of Juliet's French friends.
The next day we escaped the city to avoid the expected 39 degree temperature and went south to town called Nabone on the coast. We gathered cheeses, fruit and bread from the markets and made our way to the beach, which was very different to our Australian beaches. Wide, sandy and very little shade. We set up camp under a small palm and enjoyed lunch then went for a dip. I loved having the salty water over me again, and the smell of sunscreen, I lapped up what I expect to be the last of my summer. With yummy ice cream to top the afternoon off we made our way back to Toulouse, sleepy from the heat.

The day we hired bikes and road along the canal from Toulouse south. This was beautiful under the big plane trees that were loosing their leaves for autumn. There were many colourful house boats that reminded me of the movie Chocolate. I now have the desire to live in one for a while...... :) We road for about 30km, and stopped in a pub at the end to get a cold raspberry soft drink. Then we jumped on the train with our bikes and headed back to Toulouse. That night I indulged in chocolate tart in the cobbled streets. It was heaven on a plate.
My last adventure with Juliet was to a plume festival in a small town called Agen. Agen was beautiful with pots of flowers hanging off every lamp post. The town was alive with music, and many other festivities. We watched a comedy act, drank wine, watched a band and ate many many plumes!
I then left Juliet, after a wonderful 4 days and made my way to Taize.

1 comment:

  1. So wonderful to read about your adventures with Juliet. Keep shining in Ireland Briege. Love Trish xoxo