Toulouse is a beautiful city in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. Nicknamed La Ville Rose for the fading color of the red brick walls widely used across the city, Toulouse is a great place to visit. The rich architectural heritage, the tasty charcuteries and the friendly population are three aspects that make this an interesting destination during a trip to France.
I was lucky to mingle with locals by using couchsurfing as an accomodation. My host brought me along to a film screening in a squat in the downtown area and took me out for drinks with her lovely friends. I was also there during the Fête de la musique (World Music day) so it was fun to see the whole city engulfed by such a festive spirit!
We visited the city of Cannes when we lived in the south of France for 4 months.
Our day-trip happened in December, way off-season in terms of tourism. This meant that there wasn’t much to do.
Cannes is a typical French Riviera town but with more cardboard cutouts of George Clooney and over-sized posters with Marilyn Monroe’s face on sidewalls. Once we’d seen the Palais des festivals and walked around the port, we decided to take a short trip to the island of Sainte-Marguerite. The beautiful, heavily wooded isle, is a 15 minute ferry ride off the coast. It is one of 4 islands which are regrouped under the name of Iles des Lérins.
You may have heard of this island before, as it is here that the famous Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned for 11 years. The fort were he was incarcerated can now be visited as a museum.
Of course, when we were there the museum and all other venues (restaurants, hotel) were closed. We enjoyed a nice two hour walk around the pathways which lead us through thick, wooded areas, followed by gorgeous views of the Mediterranean sea. It was all so beautiful that we almost missed the last ferry back to the coast!
Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know that in the fall of 2009, I spent one semester abroad, studying in the south of France.
In terms of school, it was a terrible experience. You can read a bit about it here if you’d like to know my thoughts on Nice Sophia-Antipolis University (or at least, the INFOCOM program).
However, the (nearly constant) blue skies and beautiful coasts adorned with adorable houses and gorgeous flora made it all worth it.