Walking around Toulouse I have spotted many Camino arrows in the traditional finger pointing style. I find myself many times on the Camino.
The Capitolium square was alive and hopping last night with folk dancers, spiritualists, and more. There was one guy softly playing a didjeridoo along a man's body, what that does I do not know, I wonder what the Australian Aborigine would think. Folks carry sofa's to the square and set-up therapy or massage 'rooms', healing drums, book clubs and more .... it was all interesting to see. A man came down a tightrope from the roof of the Capitolium and the way he was suspended made him look like he was riding a magic carpet to the plaza. Cars were driving around the square with horns blasting, soccer! Algeria had won. Tonight is Germany vs. Australia and of course I will cheer on the Aussies. I saw the USA goal on television and although the commentary was in French I managed to note it was a lucky goal (maybe I have it wrong). From here on until the World Cup Final all televisions, in all bars, will be tuned into soccer.
It was a long twilight. The sun went down after 9:45 and the lights of the square came on. It was very pretty sitting at the outdoor cafe. I did not think about having to avoid "Manhattan Flowers" (dog poop) until I was walking back to the hotel. When we first moved to New York in 1978 our Lamont friends told us about the Manhattan Flowers on the sidewalks. Manhattan cleaned up its act over twenty-five years ago but here in France the dog is king and can still poop wherever he wants and the French owner does not use a pooper-scooper. Take care when walking in France.
SUNDAY, June 13, 2010
My guidebook mentions taking a bus or train out of Toulouse to Pibrac or Colmeirs so I went looking for the train station (SCNF) first this morning. I have a timetable and will decide what to do later tonight when I am working on the route for tomorrow.
I stopped by the Cathédrale Saint Etienne for a cachet-tampon then went to Église ND de la Dalbade (as per Rosslyn book) which is quite beautiful in a subtle subdued way. Église ND de la Dalbade is simply adorned with a gold Templar cross on each pillar.
The Église ND de la Daurade has the most magnificent Black Madonna dressed with the traditional triangular skirt. The skirt and all things around her are porcelain. At certain times of the year (for instance lent) her dress is covered with fabric. The Église ND de la Daurade is ornate and gilded and is quite different to Église ND de la Dalbade which is simple.
On the way back to the Capitole for lunch I stopped in at the Convent et Église Les Jacobins and although it is in the simple style it has magnificent arches with the spans atop the pillars looking like palm trees, they are a work of art. The grave of Saint Thomas d'Aquin is alone in the center of the church. Saint Thomas d'Aquin, Doctor of the Church, was a theologian and philospher. During the French Revolution the shrine was destroyed and his body removed to Saint Sernin in 1791, from where it was solemly moved back to Jacobins in 1974. If you are along the Via Tolosana or visiting Toulouse do not miss these three beautiful churches.