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cheska15 Dec 10th, 2019 10:53 PM

My previous post mentions that the strike hasn’t had an impact here in Nimes has changed. We are booked on a train to travel to Toulouse on Friday. Last night we received an email from SCNF advising that the train has been cancelled. We logged on to Hertz and have hired a car and will now drive. The cost of the car for 7 days is €374. We will take the opportunity to stay in Carssaconne overnight. It was a trip that we had planned to sometime.

When renting our mazet we agreed to pay electricity and water. The bills arrived yesterday and the total cost is €160 for two months. Probably the same as we would pay in Aus. Considering we have had the reverse cycle heating on we thought these costs were reasonable. We have also how the wood burning fire on some days. We only light the wood fire when we are home for the whole day.

Looking forward to seeing Toulouse and we have no expectations of the town, as long as we get to the Musee Aeroscopia.

StCirq Dec 11th, 2019 01:05 AM

Toulouse is one of our favorite cities in France. I would read up on it at least a bit before you go - there is much to see and do. St-Sernin is a wonder.

Will you be driving via Narbonne? It's well worth a stop - great covered market, astonishing cathedral, mind-boggling archaeological museum, wonderful chocolate and sweets at Le Comptoir de Mathilde.

In Carcassonne, Place Carnot is the lively heart of the main town - great place for coffee, a glass of wine, and people watching. Chez Fred, on the main road by the canal, is a very pleasant restaurant with good local specialties. Food is mediocre and primarily for tourists up in the Cité - the good stuff is in the main town, and the prices far more reasonable.

Coquelicot Dec 11th, 2019 04:35 AM

Cheska, there's a well-written blog I follow by a woman living in France. She and her family have lovely apartments to rent in Carcassonne. If we get back to that area, I'd definitely stay there. On our first visit, we camped at the soccer stadium, so it would be a big upgrade for us.

Her blog covers a wide range of topics and I always find her point of view interesting. The link to the blog first, then to the apartments.

kerouac Dec 11th, 2019 07:32 AM

Toulouse is delightful. Here is a report I made a number of years ago… and not in December.

Toulouse 2013 | Any Port in a Storm

cheska15 Dec 11th, 2019 08:15 AM

I really enjoy getting recommendations from you all, and appreciate the time and energy you put in responding.

StCirq we have a rough plan to visit Narbonne at the end of January, and were thinking of a three day trip. Do you think that is enough or should we go for four days. Happily take any advice you can give. Thanks as always.

Coquelicot. Thanks for the links. As we were planning to travel by train, it has been a last minute decision to stop overnight in Carcassonne. We are planning a weekend there in early March.

kerouac. After reading your TR I just know that 4 days is not going to be enough. We might have to return. Thanks as always.

StCirq Dec 11th, 2019 08:40 AM

cheska, the last time we were in Narbonne we spent 3 days there and thought it was perfect. I suppose we might have missed something, but we really felt we covered every cobblestone in that amount of time. We were pretty much on the move all day every day, though.

Have you thought about taking the train from Narbonne down the coast to Collioure, which won't be at its best in January (though last time we were there was February and it was still dazzling)? It's a beautiful train ride.

cheska15 Dec 11th, 2019 08:46 AM

I forgot about Collioure. Perhaps we will make it 4 days and take a day trip to Collioure. Thanks

cheska15 Dec 11th, 2019 09:22 AM

StCirq forgot to say we have a Le Comptoir ade Mathilde here in Nimes that we found the other day. I love their chocolate, and think it is the best I have had so far.

StCirq Dec 11th, 2019 10:30 AM

Yes, I only learned that it was a chain a few months after we were in Narbonne. I love their chocolate spoons. We put them in coffee for a treat sometimes. Their mustards are wonderful too. And their limoncello.

cheska15 Dec 13th, 2019 06:05 AM

We arrived in Carcassonne to grey cloudy weather our studio hotel room at 541 Aparthotel was excellent value for €68 per night. Had everything we needed and a bit more. My only complaint would be it is impossible to have the room dark for sleeping. Lots of outside light coming thru the curtains no matter what we did.

we managed to walk 5ks before the heavy rain arrived. What we saw of the medieval city, and the other part of town was really lovely. We planned to getup early and go out walking,
however howling winds and rain put a stop to that..

We drove out early to get some breakfast, and as we were not in a hurry we left at10.00 am.

Despite the awful weather we have arrived in beautiful Toulouse. Even the cold, wet and very windy conditions doesn’t take away from this beautiful city. The decision to have a long leisurely lunch at a place that the hotel recommended was a good one.

The meal consisted of croquette starter shared, steak with truffle butter for my husband, and Roast Chicken for me.
The dessert of brioche allegedly soaked in brandy and rum was average, but luckily my bonofee pie was good and I shared. I am such a kind wife sometimes. With wine( gratis limoncello) the bill was€77.

As it is still raining heavily and cold we have come back to the lovely hotel for a nap and will go out tonight to see the markets. Looking forward to exploring this beautiful city more tomorrow.

kerouac Dec 13th, 2019 11:48 AM

I'm pretty sure that you will love Toulouse, rain or shine.

TDudette Dec 13th, 2019 04:01 PM


StCirq Dec 14th, 2019 03:18 AM

OK, I have to ask...what is a bonofee pie? Autocorrect or just something I've never heard of?

Glad to hear you're enjoying Toulouse. The weather IS awful, isn't it? But rain or shine Toulouse is fabulous.

Coquelicot Dec 14th, 2019 04:15 AM

I thought banoffee pie? If so, you were generous to share it!

cheska15 Dec 14th, 2019 07:31 AM

Originally Posted by Coquelicot (Post 17029986)
I thought banoffee pie? If so, you were generous to share it!

Yes darn auto correct. At least now I have a public record that I did share.

geetika Dec 14th, 2019 07:47 AM

Originally Posted by cheska15 (Post 17030035)
Yes darn auto correct. At least now I have a public record that I did share.

You’re a kind and loving person cheska, but please tell us what this pie is... need to google it...😃

geetika Dec 14th, 2019 07:49 AM

Am not a fan of bananas, so can I just have the toffee part?!

StCirq Dec 14th, 2019 08:19 AM

Well, I had to google it, even with the correct spelling. Never heard of it. Seems like a rather odd thing to find in a restaurant in Toulouse, though.

Coquelicot Dec 14th, 2019 08:37 AM

I'm not surprised. Banoffee pie will take over the world.

cheska15 Dec 14th, 2019 10:58 AM

The Aussie version is much better. Banana and caramel in a pastry flan with a little whipped cream on top. The French make it as a little caramel and banana, with lots and lots of cream, and very sweet pastry. They are in the patisseries as well. I would have had another one today, except the citron tart with very soft meringue was calling my name. I shared that as well. My husband is wondering if I’m coming down with something.

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