Saturday, July 19, 2008

May 3rd, 2008, Toulouse - what a treat

Neither of us were particularly looking forward to Toulouse. The campsite was not attractive, Toulouse is a BIG city - the fourth largest in France at 1.1 million people in the metro area - and surely, it would be all modern high rises in tune with Aerobus and the French Space Agency. In fact, we were almost looking for an excuse to give it a pass when, on a May Saturday morning, we found a parking spot in a residential area not too far from the old town. What fools we can be.
Toulouse, originating in Roman times, flourished throughout the middle ages but slowly sank into liberal apathy during the 18th and 19th centuries, becoming a backwater and completely missing the industrial revolution. In part, thanks to the ensuing absence of socio-economic baggage weighing on other post industrial northern European cities, and in part due to the thirty year father-son mayoral reign of the dynamic Baudis dynasty, Toulouse has consistently been the fastest growing metropolis in France since WWII. This year, 2008, the Socialists regained control of this, the only solvent large city in France, and will likely soon fix that!
Lots of gorgeous sights in the old town, click here for a sample.

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