Even before arriving at the Toulouse Matabiau train station, it was obvious we were heading to a busy place. With every approaching station, the train became more and more full. By the time we arrived, every seat was taken and there were people and luggage in the aisles. As we exited the train, there were lots of people waiting to get on urgently. This was probably because, only the people who got on first would get a seat. Despite the strong heat of the day when we got off the train, the city was busy! This was no sleepy town like Limoges! Toulouse is France’s fourth largest city following Paris, Marseille and Lyon.
Due to the searing summer heat, the best time for a wander around town is in the cool of the morning. The afternoon and in particular late afternoon is extremely hot. It was 37C on the day we visited. Unfortunately, the downside of our early morning walk-around is that the attractions were closed. This meant we couldn’t take a peak into some of the historical churches. When walking around Toulouse look around and look up. There are so many stately and elegant historic buildings, narrow alleyways. We even found a hidden church on the way to Monoprix, the local supermarket!
The biggest disappointment of our visit to Toulouse was being unable to get either an English speaking tour to the Airbus factory or even an English speaking “free” walking tour of the city. It’s a real pity. Toulouse is famous for being the home of Airbus and an insight to the Airbus aeroplane factory would have been a real treat!