Toulouse to Grissoles - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 2 - CycleBlaze

June 8, 2018

Toulouse to Grissoles

On the loose in Toulouse.

June 8 Friday 35kms

Toulouse to Grissoles

On the loose in Toulouse.

Our trip on the delayed train from Sète to Toulouse was a good news bad news story, which ended well. The delay was 2 hours and meant that looking out for the location of our apartment at 9:20pm as we cycled through darkening Toulouse streets was challenging. Fortunately, it’s such a cycle friendly city that cycle lanes proliferate. 

Earlier, on the train, we struck up good rapport with a French couple who’d just cycled the Canal Du Midi. When we arrived at Matabiau Gare, we all helped each other off with our velos and they rang the apartment custodian for us. We then had to find our way out of the station which had no lifts! Custodian Deborah, who originated from one of France’s African colonies and had some English, had kindly waited for us outside. The room was fine but it was 4 floors up with no lift- so getting our cycles up there was a mission!

In the morning we pack up and look about the orange brick city. In what’s obviously a student oriented city the streets have a real buzz of busy cafes and interesting shops. We love the interior of the Church of the Jacobins, with it’s clean lines, towering pillars and walls and stained glass windows a little reminiscent of San Chappelle.

View from our apartment- a terracotta vista.
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Square Charles de Gaulle
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Jacobins Church.
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Beautiful gothic interior Jacobins Church.
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The convent cloister.
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Spreading the love- St Thomas Aquinas relics are scattered over a number of European cities but his body has lain in Toulouse since the 14th century.
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St Étienne’s Cathedral
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Interior- St Étienne.
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We find the Garonne canal path mid afternoon and head for Grissoles.


Our route.
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Apartments continuing the orange theme.
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Starting on the Canal Latéral de la Garonne.
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Traffic on Canal de la Garonne.
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Cycling on a canal path is very different from the Rhone Route. For one thing, the path is pretty straight and well sealed, so maintaining a good speed is easy, in addition villages pop up regularly and we rarely, for better or worse, feel isolated from habitation. It is also very pretty, bordered by plane trees, and although the water looks pretty murky, it reflects beautifully. Wildlife is hard to spot but I see a turtle paddling along- the second I have seen in French canals. Speaking to a woman on a barge, she tells me that there are two kinds- small European and large American. She indicates that the large American readily consumes the small European. Some symbolism there perhaps.

We reach our campground by about 5:00 after a bit of a climb for the final 100 metres. It is a shady campground with terraced rows for sites. As we set up our tent, our neighbours arrive. They are  an American couple from the Midwest who are escaping Trump they say . They are  good company.

Finding a pizza van is a wonderful surprise at the campsite and we dine well on bought pizza and our own salad before turning in relatively early.

Today's ride: 35 km (22 miles)
Total: 765 km (475 miles)

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