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Bonjour Toulouse!

Hello!
How’s the summer at your place?
It was reported that the heat waves struck some places in Europe which made the temperature extremely high, reaching up to 45°C!
Meanwhile, in Japan, the extreme weather conditions due to the seasonal storms were occurred. I was lucky enough that my flight to Toulouse, France, departed just the day after the typhoon passed through Japan.

I went to Toulouse to attend an international conference called ICUC9 (International Conference on Urban Climate). It is considered to be the top-level conference among researchers in urban climatology study. I am so glad to be there as a young researcher because I can meet so~ many experts and students with the same passion and interest. I surely had a fruitful week there!

Anyway, I won’t talk much about the conference. ^^
The city of Toulouse impressed me so much and I would like to share the stories with you. Maybe, we can learn something from this city!

Enjoy!

#1 the cityscape

Toulouse, is a the city located at the southern part of French. It is 6 hours by train from Paris and much closer to Barcelona, Spain, which only takes about 3 hours. It is inhabited by nearly 1,250,000 people that makes this city is the fourth largest city in French. It is also known as La Ville Rose, or The Pink City, because of the proliferation of redbrick buildings. I wonder whether the city already set the color code because even the newer buildings still maintain the city’s distinctive color.

The narrow street. Yo may feel such an intimate space while walking down the street.  The building's height  is about 3-4 story.

The narrow street. You may experience such an intimate space while walking down the street. The building’s height is about 3-4 story.

The typical housing type. Multi-family kind of house.

The typical housing type.

French windows

not a typical French window

The view to the city center from my hotel room. There are not so many high-rise building. The highest building would be the tower over the church, as can be seen in this picture.

The view to the city center from my hotel room. There are not so many high-rise buildings. The highest building in the city would be the tower of the basilica, as can be seen in this picture.

The river Garonne.  The river side is the heart of the city. Many people gather there, having different kind of activity (e.g. music, dancing, talking, drinking, picnic, etc.), and also enjoying the splendid view of the sunset.

The River Garonne. The river side is the heart of the city. Many people gather there to do many kind of activities (e.g. music, dancing, talking, drinking, picnic, etc.), and also to enjoy the splendid view of the sunset.

a lover's paradise, maybe... hahaha

A very romantic view… A lover’s paradise, maybe… haha. But I went to this place every night with Jochen (not my lover..haha). In the first night, we were approached by a French guy, totally stranger but unexpectedly, we really had a very nice conversation. The second night was with a girl we met at the conference. Since she is a Greeks so the topic was about the crisis in Europe. The last night was the best, we enjoyed talking and playing music with the university’s students and local musicians… This is the thing I enjoy the most in travelling, which is meeting a stranger, which turns to be a friend, and spend such a good time with them. Always remember.. good people meet good people.

The Capitole. One of the important building, and also the icon of the city. This building is functioned as the city hall.

The Capitole. One of the important buildings and also the icon of the city. It is functioned as the city hall.

The inner court of the capitole

The inner court of The Capitole

Inside the building. Visitors were welcomed by the grand stair.

Inside the building. The grand stair welcomes the visitors.

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The great hall. I don't really know about the story of the paintings...

The great hall. I don’t really know about the story of the paintings…

Saint Sernin Basilica, is largest Romanesque church in Europe.

Saint Sernin Basilica, is largest Romanesque church in Europe.

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The church has the pipe organ, which is considered  to be the most beautiful in France.

The church has the pipe organ, which is considered to be the most beautiful in France.

Centre de Congres. One of the few modern architecture in the city. This  is the place where the conference was held. The red brick still dominates the facade.

Centre de Congres. One of the few modern architectures in the city. This is the venue of ICUC9. The red brick still dominates the facade.

Small boats can pass through this canal.

Small boats can pass through this canal.

The french garden

The french garden.

A typical red brick city at sunset

A typical red brick city at sunset

The public space is very vibrant. The happy citizen surely will come to the public open space everyday.

The public space is so alive. The happy citizen surely will come to the public open space everyday.

Attractive and entertaining. During the heat wave, citizens are allowed to enjoy some water features in the city.

Attractive and entertaining public space. During the heat wave, citizens can enjoy some water features in the city.

#2 the transportation

The city has integrated bus system, metro underground, and tram. In addition to that, an extensive bike sharing system, called VeloToulouse, is also available in the city.

How to use the system?

The price of the ticket for bus, metro, and tram is €1.8. It can be purchased from the bus driver and the ticket machine at the station. After having the ticket, you can go everywhere in the city within the duration of one hour by using bus, metro, and tram.
For the bike sharing system, the renting price is €1.8/day and €5/week. We can purchase the ticket at most of the bike stations by using credit card. To be noted, we need to deposit €150 for the insurance fee. It would be fine if we don’t do anything bad to the bicycle. The bike stations are available at many locations so it is such a convenient way to explore the city.

The bus station at the airport

The bus station at the airport. The airport shuttle bus costs you €8. The distance between the airport to the city center is very close, it takes only 20-30 minutes by bus. Using tram is cheaper, it costs only €1.8.

The tram stand-by at the airport

The tram stand-by at the airport

inside of the bus

inside of the bus

The ticket. The time when you start using the service is printed at back side of the ticket.

The tisseo ticket. The time when you start using the service is printed at back side of the ticket.

Please choose the bike you like... :)

Please choose the bike you like… 🙂

The VeloToulouse.

The VeloToulouse.

Another way to explore the city is to join the city bus tour program. The tour only takes 1.5 hours but you surely can discover the hidden beauty the city. The GPS based audio guide is  available in 8 different languages. The audio guide is very informative and could give you a better understanding of the city which even the local people may not know. The cost for joining this tour is €14. More info click here.

Just stand-by at this starting point at 15 minutes before departure and you can enjoy the tour.

Just stand-by at this starting point 15 minutes before departure and you can enjoy the tour.

The ticket can only be purchased from the driver.

The ticket can only be purchased from the driver.

From inside the bus.

Inside the bus. 

#3 the food

I didn’t try any particular French food. I am a poor traveller. So poor… hahaha
But I enjoyed very much the Kebab! :9

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cheers!

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Duck, medium rare… Kwack kwack kwack

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Kebab on a plate plus drink…. only 8 euro!

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Lebanese tacos…. around 5-6 euro

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these are not fruits, they are all bonbons (candy)..

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Enjoying champagne in the city hall/the capitole

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#4 the people

I really enjoyed meeting people at the conference and also the people I met outside of the conference’s venue. Sadly, I have not so many pictures of them.

People are very ‘friendly and polite’…
Somehow they are too friendly until the point of asking for cigarettes and money with ease to the strangers, to be noted, they are not beggars.
They are also too polite to an extent when one guy I met at the riverside asked permission to  pee next to me. Hahahaha

The temporary market for fruits and vegetables can be seen every morning

The temporary market for fruits and vegetables can be seen every morning

At first, I was so surprised to see many women wearing hijab.

At first, I was so surprised to see so many women wearing hijab. @_@

The flea market every Sunday morning.

The flea market is held every Sunday morning near St. Sernin Basilica.

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Introducing Jochen. Brilliant student from Germany. We are doing collaboration in a research project in Malaysia. So glad to meet him again in the different part of the world!

Meet Jochen! Brilliant student from Germany. We are doing collaboration in a research project in Malaysia. So glad to meet him again in the different part of the world!

Next to me is Nisrina. It was found out that we belong to the same alma mater (i.e. ITB).  I am so glad to meet other Indonesian researcher that doing the same research like I do.

Next to me is Nisrina. It was found out that we belong to the same alma mater (i.e. ITB). I am so glad to meet  Indonesian researcher that doing the same research like I do.

A little selfie won't hurt anyone... :D

A little selfie won’t hurt anyone… 😀

To conclude, Toulouse is such a nice city. I’ve heard many bad stories from the city like Paris. Those stories made me scared at first. But that bad image is not proven (or yet unproven?). At least, I didn’t face any trouble during my visit and every moments are so enjoyable!

Au revoir Toulouse! wish me could come again someday…

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