August 6, 2018

We took our time leaving the lovely sea town of Sète and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. My daughter, being the awesome photographer that she is – as well as the driver, pulled us off to a an expansive sunflower field! We were lucky to find it since the epic season is in June.

Our Airbnb is in a centuries old building tucked into a popular strolling avenue with its own seemingly secret courtyard.

We settled in and eventually discovered how close we were to the Toulouse Capitole, a massive government building with an incredible art exhibit and painted fresco ceilings.

Toulouse is the capital of France’s southern Occitanie Region and is is bisected by the Garonne River, sitting near the Spanish border. It is situated at the junction of the Canal Latéral à la Garonne and Its 17th-century Canal du Midi, where the Garonne River curves northwest from the Pyrenean foothills and links to the Mediterranean Sea.

Founded in ancient times, it was developed as Tolosa during the Roman period and after many changes in ruling powers, resisted the anti-heretic crusade in the 13th century. Afterward, many religious houses and the university (1229) were founded. (Wikipedia)

Toulouse has numerous medieval churches—notably the Gothic cathedral of Saint-Étienne, the Basilique de la Daurade, which has one of the “Black Madonnas”, the Romanesque basilica of Saint-Sernin, and the Gothic Église des Jacobins.

We ate lunch lunch at an outdoor cafe situated along the Capitole Square and enjoyed the people watching while we ate. Later we wandered around and over the Pount Neuf (bridge) happening upon a perfect place to experience the magnificent sunrise. We strolled by a festive Ferris wheel and back over the St Phillip bridge searching for a dinner spot amongst the myriad of outdoor and indoor choices. Along the way we stopped to watch couples salsa dancing on a cobblestone platform along the river while folks on the descending steps looked on – and it seemed to us that it a was open to whoever wanted to join in!

Ultimately we ended up back over at another Capitole Squareside Café for dinner and a lovely nightcap to our evening.

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