La vie en rose
What’s in Toulouse? People usually asked me when I told them my plans for the weekend. – A cheap flight, I would answer, each and every time. Simple as that, I saw a cheap flight, thought ‘why not’ and in a blink my inbox had a booking confirmation.
Gut feelings are a very funny thing, the may go against logic at times but they seem to anticipate your needs so well that I have trained myself to follow them, in spite of the apparent lack of logic. This time, and after that Saturday morning breakdown, both S and my gut feeling agreed that I needed a total break from the city and everyone, so I could have some so-much-needed 'me' time and I accepted their suggestion gladly.
So the weekend arrived, I was knackered from an intense week of work and I had my first solo trip ahead. To be honest, all I wanted that Friday evening was a bottle of wine and the security of my bed until Saturday late afternoon. Just the thought of waking up at 3:45 am to spend the weekend in a foreign city on my own was already off-putting, and it made me think several times 'what the hell am I doing?'. However, that tends to be the recurrent thought when you are stepping out of your comfort zone, right? Even though my logic was asking me for some rest and sleep, my gut was telling me that this trip was a good idea and despite the tiredness, I wouldn't regret any single part of it.
And so it was.
Not only the city was splendid, but also the weather -despite the awful forecast predicted, turned out to be optimal, with warm temperatures and clear skies, that helped the city to achieve their full potential. It was love at first sight.
Exhausted by the long trip and the magret de canard with a glass of Bordeaux I had for brunch, as well as by the horrible attempt of socialising with the waiter in French, who very kindly tried to explain me the qualities of the wine - with little success, as I thought he was talking about the weather- I decided to walk along the river and sat at the stairs near the Pont St Pierre. While soaking up the afternoon sun, I overheard from a conversation between two American girls sitting behind me: Toulouse is a good city if you just want to walk around, and I couldn’t agree more with that.
Even though there is a very extensive offer of galleries and cultural venues, the most enjoyable thing for me to do under the warm sun of May was to wander around, marvelling at the distinctive colours of the city –green, pink and pastel blue. The vibrant green coming from the trees, the salmon pink from the bricks of the buildings, and the pastel blue, which splashes with colour the balconies and window shutters. To me, the harmony of colours made the city a wonder to my eyes, and given the fact that the city is manageable enough to be able to go everywhere by foot – in spite of having a very complete public transport system, with trams, underground and buses- helped to fully enjoy the city.
Toulouse in a sunny weekend of May could be the perfect synonym of happiness; all senses are filled by the smell of the trees, the noise of the quiet Garonne river, the taste of the incredible food and wine, and the sights... which are an absolute delight from the 6th floor of Galleries Lafayette (4 rue Lapeyrouse), close to Capitole square. The cherry on the cake was the sun, which made us company us all weekend long and turned each corner of the city even more beautiful than it is.
That Sunday evening, while waiting for the tram at Arènes to get to the airport, I couldn't help but hum Edith Piaf's 'La vie en rose' and I thought there couldn't be a better song to describe what I felt for the 'pink city', and the very thought of that made me smile.
Final impressions of my first solo trip? A thousand times worth it; Toulouse, you're definitely something.
Elle est entré dans mon cœur
Une part de bonheur
Dont je connais la cause