Toulouse and Narbonne

Old Jan 14th, 2020, 10:57 AM
  #1  
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Toulouse and Narbonne

I am pretty much set now, thanks to StCirq et al, on Toulouse for 3 nights and Narbonne for 4. I see that the Musee des Augustins is closed until fall. But there are plenty of other things to see, I believe. In Narbonne, we would like to take a day trip or two by train, to Beziers (would like to see the Fonserannes Locks) and ?
We plan to travel by train.

Do you see any issues? Any hotel recommendations in either town? (around 150 euros/night)
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 11:25 AM
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I would spend 4 in Toulouse (maybe a daytrip to Castelnaudary?) and 3 in Narbonne (it's just not that big). And besides Béziers I'd go to Perpignan for a day.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 03:06 PM
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IMO, Toulouse is an "A" city (our second favorite in France). You could amuse yourself for 2-3 full days there & never leave the city. Easy train to Albi & Carcassonne.

Narbonne is a "B-" city. We enjoyed it - but didn't spend more than half a day there. Nice "les Halles" type food market. We've spent 4 weeks in the Narbonne area, and never heard or read enough good stuff about Beziers to visit it. We are not museum fans, however. We did enjoy Perpignan (visited it twice).

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 06:09 PM
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We stayed in a lovely property in Toulouse called Le Clos des Salins 3 rue des Azes, 31000 Toulouse, France Phone: +33 6 16 25 13 30

https://apparttoulouse.fr/index.php?

But it look like they are sold out many month in advance this next spring/summer

We also stayed at the Mercure Toulouse Centre Saint-Georges Rue Saint Jerome and it was a terrific location-very close walking distance to Place St Georges and great eating and shopping all around there.

If you go to Castelnaudary, our favorite Cassoulet restaurant is actually kind of on the outskirts set behind a gas station. It is the best cassoulet we have had there! It is family run and called Le Tirou, 90 Avenue Mgr de Langle, 11400 Castelnaudary, France. They have a lovely garden setting and have a couple of alpacas in a fenced area of the gardens! Avery fun day needless to say.


Alpacas in the garden!


https://tirou.fr/
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 06:53 PM
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I haven't been to Narbonne, but I adored Toulouse. I would want more than 3 nights there, or to be more accurate, more than 2 full days for Toulouse + at least a day for Albi. YMMV.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 08:53 PM
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I haven’t been to either but this travel podcaster lives in Toulouse and has done a few podcasts on it and Narbonne

https://joinusinfrance.com/episode/m...thwest-france/

StuDudley I’d love to hear why it’s your second favorite city! What do you do when you are there.

Last edited by lrice; Jan 14th, 2020 at 08:55 PM.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 09:49 PM
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"StuDudley I’d love to hear why it’s your second favorite city! What do you do when you are there."

We are huge architecture fans. Toulouse has fabulous architecture, great restaurants, nice shops, and a vibrant environment. We were there once on a dreary, rainy Saturday night, and the people were out on the streets wandering around and enjoying life in Toulouse. There is some stuff in my attached Languedoc itinerary about Toulouse, Narbonne, Perpignan, Carcassonne, and Albi.
Attached Files
File Type: doc
Languedoc-revised.doc (260.0 KB, 5 views)
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 01:43 AM
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I don't rate cities the way Stu does, though that must be helpful to some people, but my problem is that if you spend only half a day somewhere I'm not sure you're entitled to much of a rating. Stu loves architecture (so do we, so we appreciate that), but we also love early medieval French history in the Languedoc, so that puts a whole different spin on things from OUR perspective. It's absolutely astonishing how intricate and powerful the various fiefdoms were, stretching from far eastern Provence down into present-day Catalonia, beginning in the 10th century and stretching far beyond. And fascinating how the entire economic/political system was so very much more intricate than the lord-serf arrangement taught to school children. Even more astonishing was the incredible power and influence wielded by women (like Ermengard of Narbonne), many of whom were warriors, in that region at that time. I don't expect most visitors to find any of this particularly appealing, but it explains why Narbonne, for example, is worth well more than half a day for us.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 08:49 AM
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Thanks StuDudley and StCirq!

StCirq My daughter’s UCLA curriculum, that started my European travel plans for a month this fall, is to study that economic/political system, the root of it back to Greece (not sure if they will go back farther) and the impact it had and still has on the world today. I’m so excited for her to dig deep for 4 months — going from Florence to Siracusa to Barcelona. They will do some really neat side trips to villages and sites in between. I wish I could tag along with her!
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 11:34 AM
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Another vote for Toulouse. A lot to see for everyone no matter what your interests, and it is a very walkable city.
Your daughters trip sounds fabulous, and I too would want to tag along.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 10:46 AM
  #11  
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You all are the bee's knees! I will increase Toulouse to 4 nights. I was worried because we arrive Good Friday and I thought the museum in Albi would be closed on Monday, but it doesn't appear so. They seem to be closed on Tuesdays instead... Irice, thank you again for the "Join us in France" recommendations. I am very interested in history (early Medieval and earlier, especially) and art history and Elyse is full of info!

Narbonne is largely because my traveling companion loves water, boats, canals, etc. I thought the Canal du Midi and Canal de la Robine would satisfy. Besides, it might be warmer there in April and has several interesting (to me) sights.

Now I am considering going on to Paris and spending an extra day there, doing a day trip from there rather than stopping a third time.

Again, merci/ thank you and keep the recommendations coming!
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 01:39 PM
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" Narbonne is largely because my traveling companion loves water, boats, canals, etc. I thought the Canal du Midi and Canal de la Robine would satisfy. Besides, it might be warmer there in April and has several interesting (to me) sight""

You may want to visit the 9 locks of Forsanes (sp?) near Beziers. The locks are located on the Canal du Midi and are quite interesting. About a 1/2 hour drive from Narbonne.

There's also a nice photo op of the Cathedral in Beziers from the far side of the river closer to town, right before you cross the bridge to go into town


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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 03:34 PM
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Les 9 Écluses de Fonseranes, Rue du Canal Royal, 34500 Béziers, France is the address where the locks are located. You can google their website. And, this is the correct spelling! 😄
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 06:03 PM
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joannyc: The locks are the main reason we are headed for that area. They seem to be fairly close to the train station, which will be our main transportation method.
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