Monday, May 25 - Toulouse

This was a day in Toulouse, but not a great one. We began with a lecture by Emeline lair entitled: Introduction to the Languedoc Region: Occitan People, Land and culture. It was fine. Then we went off on a free day. First we did a little shopping in near the Place Capitole and then we had a very good lunch (Croque Tomate and Pannini) at a cafe in the arcade there.

After that we went to see the Musee Augustins. This is a huge building that was originally a monastery of the Augustinians who were dispossessed in the revolution. It's a beautiful building with a fine, very large cloister with gardens. The exhibits were less exciting, displayed in a very old-fashioned way. There were a few interesting works and a lot of work of regional artists. We stayed a while and then left. Unfortunately it was very hot that day and we were not inclined to go further and so we returned to our hotel.

That night was the time for our home visit for dinner with a local French family. Without going into too much detail I will simply state that it was not a great success, in terms of any real interchange. However the dinner was excellent. The people we met were pleasant but curiously uninterested.

We met our hosts at the hotel. When we went out to their car it was just starting to rain, and when we were driving through the city there was a tremendous thunderstorm with hail stones up to one inch in size. By the time we got out to the suburbs it had stopped. This is as close to bad weather as we found during the trip, so we were very lucky.

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