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Wednesday, May 29: Day 37 – La Trek Through Toulouse

We started walking through the city with low expectations but we were happy to find many gems in Toulouse.

The Toulouse Capitole is a building used for ALL official business from town council meetings to weddings. Our daughter, Amy Street, has taken a new job in Cincinnati. She has a lot of meetings. I wonder if her meeting room looks like this?

While walking along, we noticed many blind and also deaf pedestrians. They seem very brave to us as they cross busy streets and traverse the crowd.

We are usually headed to the next site and somtimes grab McDonald’s which is often packed. At McDonald’s it tastes like home, and the food is good and fast. We love the European drive thru!

This McDonald’s has a good idea … a place to pour your drink and ice BEFORE throwing the cup containing liquids into the trash.

Innovation continues with the playground equipment. Yes, it’s a roly-poly that has a slide.

The Musee des Augustins has sculptures, gargoyles, and paintings in a converted monastery. There was an interesting display of column capitols.

And this sculpture was frightening. No wonder it is called The Nightmare.

We were told by the tourist office to be sure to visit the convent. We didn’t realize until much later that we toured another beautiful church instead of the convent. The interior was bright and cheerful.

The Basilica of Saint-Sernin, is the largest Romanesque Church in France. We learned the sad story of the martyr named Saturnis.

According to church tradition, Saturnis was a disciple of Christ that was sent out as one of the 70. He was passing through the Capitole which we visited today, and he would not bow down to the pagan gods. The pagan priests tied him to a bull which dragged him through town until he died. The place where the rope broke is where his bones where interred into a ditch by two faithful Christian women. The church was built upon this martyr site. Rue du Taur translates to Street of the Bull and runs from the Capitole to the Basilica.

We descended into the crypt under the Basilica and viewed relics. Maybe Saturnis was one??

We noted that there was a student concert that evening at the Basilica. We decided to attend assuming that the accoustics would be impressive. We arrived 30 minutes before the scheduled time. I was nervous that we would be late and not able to find a seat. Rob reassured me that the Bascilica was huge and, besides, how many would come to a student concert in a church on a Wednesday night. Apparently, everyone in town as the line extended for two blocks much like we are used to seeing at a rock concert.

We did not have an advance ticket so we went back to our hotel and watched Shrek 2 in French.

How’s that for culture???

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