Who would have thought I would be going on a field trip in college?? But it’s true; for class yesterday we took a trip into downtown Toulouse to tour the Capital Building, Cathedral of Saint Stephan, Church of Les Jacobins, and to mosey around the market that was in the town square. I guess you could say that afternoon was one of my favorites here at Purpan so far.
We started our afternoon taking the train, then hopping off to get on the metro which is the route I always have to take to get into downtown Toulouse. Surprisingly the metro’s here in Southern France are less venalated than Northern France and London; even though the weather here has heavy humidity and an overall stronger heat. Yesterday afternoon it was 90 degrees, and we were warned that it is only going to get hotter. After getting nice and sweaty we walked over to the Capital Building which is where they historically held all important government meetings, but now it is mainly used for what American’s would call “Courthouse weddings” and it’s halls can be rented out for receptions and formal wedding ceremonies as well.
Next we toured through two famous cathedrals in Toulouse; the Cathedral of Saint Stephan & the Church of Les Jacobins which was rebuild from the ruins of the Cathedral of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The first, the Cathedral of Saint Stephan, had gorgeous natural stone detail, it was unlike any of the other cathedrals I had been through in Europe. There were pretty hues of pinks and creams that gave it a calm and inviting appeal; a perfect look for it since it is still a working Catholic Cathedral holding mass throughout the week. The second cathedral was Saint Thomas Aquinas acquiring an entirely different look then the first one we stopped at. It had high ceiling with beautiful stain glass windows towering at 214 feet high with a unique structure to the ceiling and building, as it was in the shape of a cross when viewed from the sky looking down. This particular cathedral is the only one in the world to possess a “palm tree” pillar and ceiling structure at the far end of the church which has a remarkable view. It is incredibly refreshing to see the individual uniqueness in so many of the cathedrals among Europe.
After the tours through the cathedrals we went to the Town Square to look around their Market where they sold anything from Africa wood carvings to clothes to homemade food (not sure I trusted that). The Market was fun and lively with all of the townspeople coming in to shop. The market happens every morning/afternoon and is all day Wednesday so I am sure i will be back before I leave Toulouse!
Later that evening we stopped by a bar right off of the large bridge connecting the two sides of the city; it’s definitely a great perk to be able to stop by on a hot afternoon, get a fun fruity drink, and relax with new friends! Not going to lie, I was starting to get a little homesick after my Mom first left Toulouse. But now I am starting to really enjoy this fun new home of mine, amazing wine, and the company of other young Agriculture students looking for new adventures.
This is a new section that I am starting at the end of my blogs to give you all a small hint into my upcoming plans and other blog ideas that I’m having to keep you more informed with my life abroad..
Friday afternoon we are going on another day trip to the Carcassonne Castle in Toulouse (castles are my favorite) they make me feel like a princess! Then this weekend we are going on our first weekend excursion as a group! We are making a trip Saturday morning to the Pyrenees Mountains which run between France and Spain.
A group of about six of us from Purdue and Kansas State are planning our free weekend trip at the end of the month. Soon we will be getting our train tickets and renting our a flat for the weekend and finalizing everything. Morgan and I are still working on our travel plans for after our internships in July! All prayers are greatly appreciated as we begin venturing out of Toulouse.