January 1, 2011

June 7| Toulouse

Place du Capitole

We stayed at La Caravelle, which we picked because the concierge in Béziers had recommended it and it is close to the train station. They stored our bikes for free in their garage. We wanted an easy walk with the packaged bikes when we caught our early morning TGV to Paris.

Cloisters at Les Jacobins
But first we had a day in Toulouse. And Toulouse is perfect. Called the rose city, for its brick architecture, it is possible I was looking through rose colored glasses, but I loved it.  The fourth largest city in France it is a blend of the old and new, with a beautiful old city, the amazing Cathedral St. Sernin and its relics, Les Jacobins, and many gorgeous museums.

I inquired about transporting the bikes on the TGV to Paris at the train station in Toulouse and was told that they must be in bags. We bought bike bags at Décathlon, a large sporting goods store. Sure enough, the bike bags fit exactly into the luggage space. But they had to be stacked one on top of the other. And, sure enough, when I arrived home my derailleur was broken, either on the train or plane. Bags don’t offer the protection boxes do. Also I found it more awkward to carry, and dragging it wore a hole in the bottom. But they did let us on the train.

24 miles Route: Canal du Midi

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