Toulouse was one of those cities that I had heard of many times before, but didn’t actually know anything about. That all changed when I stepped off the train into what is a vibrant, energetic and beautiful city of more than half a million people, including the massive student population. I learned that while modern, while green and vibrant, while open minded and fun, it’s a city with a beautiful soul. That seems like an odd thing to say I realize, but it’s one of those things I have to put in the category of “You Know It When You See It.” When a city has a lively soul you feel it right away, it jumps out at you and demands attention. Too many times I’ve visited a place that is flat without this pronounced spirit, so when I do find it I feel it in a powerful way. Toulouse is just such a city.
Yes it’s large (for France), yes Airbus is headquartered there bringing lots of smart people into town but Toulouse also has a long and rich history that I was thrilled to learn more about on an afternoon stroll last year. Here is how I saw Toulouse and why I loved it almost right away.