After two days in Strasbourg and 5 days in Normandy, it was time for me to pack up my things and head southwest, to the village of Carbonne. It was there that I would be spending three days with a family I know through my mother’s colleagues back in the United States. (This family also hooked me up with the family I stayed with in Toulon!)
The train ride was long, and by long I mean nine hours and three stops, but I didn’t really mind and took the chance to rest, relax, and reflect upon my own thoughts and feelings. When I arrived in Toulouse, my spirits were instantly lifted.
Philippe greeted me enthusiastically, which I immensely appreciated. The two of us made our way back to Carbonne by car, and on the way he gave me the grand tour of Toulouse and then Carbonne by night, which was great. I was greeted by their enthusiastic family, who was more than happy to have me. After dropping my bags and being given a tour of their house (in-ground pool, separate Gilmore Girls-style pool house, amazing patio, all rooms completely modernized), we enjoyed a nice French-style dinner consisting of 4 courses, various wines, and of course Christmas music.
The next three days were filled with relaxing mornings and then site-seeing afternoons. On the 29th, Philippe took me further out into the countryside, where I got to see French hunters in action. The literally stand in the middle if fields and just wait; they’re everywhere! then, the family took me to some of the more well-known surrounding villages and Cathedrals in the area. That nights we enjoyed raclette with their friends- fifteen people total!
Countryside near Carbonne, where hunters hang out
Town of Rieux-Volvestre
Town of Rieux-Volvestre- the bricks are very typical of the region
Laura and me in front of the Pyrenees Mountains
The next day, we explored Toulouse, which included touring cathedrals, touring the town hall, shopping, eating, and tasting espressos. Toulouse is known as La Ville Rose aka The Pink City so I was expecting the buildings to be pink! Unfortunately I found out that what they actually mean by pink is red brick! It still is quite beautiful nonetheless!
Toulouse se is situated on the Garonne River
Great at indoor market in Toulouse
Admiring La Ville Rose
Amazing artwork inside the town hall!
Philippe and me tasting espressos
St. Etienne Cathedral
This family is so wonderful and I am lucky to know them. I am so grateful to have had a chance to stay in their home and help me to discover southwest France. I can’t wait to go back and visit them soon!