We take a ride share out of Spain and back up to France. We will be dropped in Toulouse for a few hours so that we can connect with our next ride share to Tarbes. We are on our way to Tarbes to have my appointment with the Orthopedist the following day. It’s a long day of travel and we didn’t get too many photos as we were carrying around our bags as we wandered the city. We had visited Toulouse on the way to Spain, and we visited once more on our way out of S. France so the Toulouse photos shared below are from 3 different visits.
From Toulouse we arrive in Tarbes at dusk and after checking emails we walk to the home of Flo, our Couchsurfing hostess. John wrote many requests for Couchsurfing stays in Tarbes, Toulouse and Lyon. We felt so fortunate to find a place in each city, with very kind, cool hostesses! Our hostess Flo had just gotten home from work, she teaches circus classes to children! She is really skilled in circus arts and has had many fun adventures so we have dinner and share stories.
We wake up very early to meet Louisa, our sweet hostess from Enjouanisson. She will be my interpreter at the hospital where my wrist will be x-rayed and re-casted. It’s about 2 hours at the hospital but I get a snazzy, shorter, cast! Yes, I can wear a coat again, and good thing because France is cold! But, for the moment the sun is shining and we walk to Jardin Massey, a big sprawling park. There is a great cactus conservatory…
Lot’s of Peacocks and many other exotic birds and ducks…
Look at the little pouf on this ducks head… Isn’t it the cutest?
Spring was in full swing in the park, flowers everywhere and we even got a spring shower for about 5 minutes! We wandered the paths, saw there are actually chickens and goats living in the park too…
Then wandered out and back into town, stopping in a gallery space to see a show about Guiseppe Arcimboldo, he’s an Italian painter from the 16th century, famous for his portraits made up of fruits, vegetables, sea creatures, plants, mushrooms, tree roots or books.
The gallery was hosting a show of his work set up for interactive learning for children, perfect for us novice French speakers because we could read and play with the art, en Francais!
With encouragement from the curator, we played with plastic veggies and opened little doors with surprises inside, remade the portraits with wood blocks… it was really fun and although the artists actual work wasn’t there (his work is in the Louvre and many other museums throughout the world) I felt we learned so much about the artist. I adore his whimsical paintings, what a fun little detour!
See the resemblance?
After all that playing with food we go to the market so we can pick up a few things to make for dinner for our hostess. Then back to her house we go… Flo is super committed to her teaching job and she spent a few hours putting together curriculum for her classes the following day and then we had a nice dinner. The following day will be early again as we will leave as she goes to work. We go into town, hang out a cafe for a while and then go to the big market place before we catch our next rideshare back to Toulouse for the evening.
After the hour or so drive to Toulouse we hang around the merry go round and then go to a bar in front of an big church to have beers while we wait for our couchsurfing hostess, Maya, to get out of class…
We walk over to her apartment at about 6pm to meet her and 2 of her roomies, Camille and Marion, they are all cute bubbly girls and they are excited to take us to the oldest bar in Toulouse, Cafe Concorde. The place is cool, live music and cheap beers! We then walk over to the pizza place across the street and get some pizzas to bring back to the apartment.
Back at the apartment we meet Bastien and his boyfriend (who’s name regrettably escapes me!) and we have great conversations with him about urban gardening, he is even familiar with Oakland and the farming movement going on there! Everyone is super nice and it’s again another early night and early morning so we can meet our rideshare to Lyon.