Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Preview of Toulouse--Pont des Catalans (or Our Bridge)

I'm going to give you a tour of Toulouse each day before we go back to Toulouse (in about 7 weeks). The first place I want to take you is over the Pont des Catalans (Catalans Bridge). This is our bridge, because when we lived in Toulouse, this was the bridge we crossed on foot about a million times. I love this bridge because it took us to our dear friends' home, past the ever-present men playing petanque, just next to the Canal de Brienne. I love this bridge because it led us once a week to our laundry mat, where the owners, a couple, faithfully worked hard each day, ironing other people's pants and manning the quirky machines in the un-airconditioned, cramped quarters. Since we didn't have a car, we loaded our dirty laundry for the week into our suitcases...and pulled. I knew every pothole, every bump, even each dog-pile (until it disintegrated and a new one replaced it), because we made the trip so many times.

The bridge goes over the beloved Garonne River, my son's middle name-sake. When I was in labor and they told me to focus on something, it was our bridge that I walked back and forth on in my mind, trying to make myself go to a Happy Place. It worked.

The bridge was the low-tech "GPS" for finding our neighborhood. We could find home easily, in those first confusing weeks of being in a new city, using the bridge as our reference point.

Walking across the bridge on warm summer mornings, looking to the right and seeing the silhouette of Les Jacobins is etched in my brain forever. Watching sunsets from the bridge is something I never got tired of. Seeing it lit up at night gave me a great feeling; knowing I lived just beyond The Bridge, Our Bridge.

Stay tuned for more Toulouse photos, A Preview of our upcoming trip in March/April 2008


La Belette Rouge said...

Beautiful pictures!!! I am so looking forward to your Toulouse report as I will be benefiting from it. It is on my itinerary for July.

I will definitely be visiting the laundromat.;-)

Cécy said...

I like this idea of presenting Toulouse like that. The pictures are beautiful, especially the night one. And the way you tell your memories of it makes the place very special.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

You are going to Toulouse?!!! :) Ok, I'm really getting into Tour Guide mode now! I will take lots of photos and notes...and do great postings! How are you getting there, how long will you stay, and a million other questions I have!

Thank you! I'm already working on future posts...thanks for your kind encouragement. :)

La Belette Rouge said...

I will take the train from Paris. I will be there, maybe 4 days. I have a friend who has family in Toulouse ( a chateau-ette). I have absolutely no plans for when I get there. I will follow your tour guide guidance devotedly. I am so lucky to benefit from your expertise.

My Inner French Girl said...

CC, what a beautiful story. Does your son have any memories of the bridge, by any chance? I imagine that he enjoys hearing about the origins of his middle name.

And I can't believe that you're leaving in less than 2 months! How time flies. I can't wait to hear the reports!