On Monday morning it was time to start our European road trip. On day one (of two) we were headed to Toulouse, which is only about four hours from Barcelona. We stopped on the way in Carcassonne, which is a French town with a huge medieval castle. It’s actually where the Robin Hood movie (with Kevin Cosner) was filmed.
We had lunch there, which was a bit of a challenge since none of us spoke French, the menu was in French, and the waiter only spoke French. It worked out for everyone, though, and we enjoyed our lunch.
We got to Toulouse around 5pm and met up with Laurent as he was getting off work. We went to his house first, and then went walking around the city. We saw cobblestone paths with little stores, a river with large historic buildings, and a beautiful sunset.
I was a bit hungry, but since Laurent said 7pm was the wrong time of day for eating a crepe (my first idea for a French snack), we stopped in a wine café called Zin Zolin. It was a really cute little place with just a few tables. We had red wine and a plate of assorted meats and pates. We had Laurent there to explain exactly what everything was, and I was brave and tried all the various things – everything was very good.
We joked that Jeff and I had already traveled by plane, train, bus, and car, and to add to this, we rented bicycles for a short ride across the city back to Laurent’s house. And if that wasn’t enough, Laurent had planned for us to have dinner in a fancy restaurant that’s actually a boat on the river, so in two days we’d covered pretty much every form of transportation.
Dinner was incredible. We had a full meal with an appetizer, main course, and dessert – each trying a different type of traditional French food. I started mussels in a cream sauce topped with flaky pastry. My main dish was duck – a food that was particularly famous for that area. And for dessert I had an white and dark chocolate mouse. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. It was a great way to end our day in Toulouse.