The city sits on the banks of the Garonne River and is known as “La Ville Rose” (The Pink City) due to the terra cotta bricks used in many of it’s buildings. In the early morning and late afternoon, the rosy-toned brick buildings of Toulouse have a special glow. Toulouse is at the heart of sultry Southwestern France not far from the border of Spain. The warm, sunny climate and friendly locals give Toulouse an inviting ambience. Although it’s a major industrial city, Toulouse has a laid-back vibe. It was a perfect place to celebrate an anniversary !
We had reservations at the Grand Hotel de L’Opera which is situated opposite the famous Theatre du Capitole on the square in the city’s center. A classical example of the 18th-century architecture in the city.
We struck out to explore and since it is the weekend a Saturday Market is lining the streets. It stretches for blocks and I have never seen such an extensive outdoor market. We were no less captivated with it than we expected to be. Toulouse is a beautiful city, with a young vibrant population and parks throughout the city that are enjoyed and used by everyone.
Dinner reservations were at Le Bibent restaurant located on the Place du Capitole. I think it is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Toulouse. The chef is well known in France (ex-chef at the Crillon and the Ritz in Paris). It was an excellent dining experience in a beautiful setting.
So many wonderful things to explore and appreciate. To name a few, walk along Canal du Midi, or check out Port Neuf a 16th-century bridge on the Garonne River. See the Grand Basilica of Saint-Sernin a masterpiece of Romanesque art. Take a bicycle ride to be amazed by the detail of old elaborate architecture, monuments, fountains and historic landmarks. Dine alfresco and relax, where you just might be entertained by a street parade.