The Nagasawa family trip to France:  May 1 - 15, 2011

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Paris (Seine River)

May 1 Arrive in Paris, Eiffel Tower
May 2 Louvre Museum, Jardin Tuileries
May 3 Cathedrals, Jardin Luxembourg

Sarlat (Dordogne River)

May 4 Sarlat
May 5 Cave paintings, Roque St. Christophe
May 6 Castles, Laines at Blagnac

Blagnac (Garonne River)

May 7 Laines at Blagnac, L'Amphitryon
May 8 Toulouse, Hiking
May 9 Cite L'Espace
May 10 Toulouse

St. Remy, Lyon (Rhone River)

May 11 Nimes, St. Remy
May 12 Pont du Gard, Camargue
May 13 Des Baux, Avignon
May 14 Lyon
May 15 Train to Paris, fly home


May 10

In the early morning, John and Gabby played with the blue balloons that John and Zoe had gotten the day before.



We took a walk around a different part of Toulouse.  Auntie Mari took us on a walking tour.


There was a beautiful sidewalk along the Garron River, where students and other folks were enjoying the sun.





Random doors that were interesting to me.


And the door to a school.


A street where we walked...


This was on the way to the cathedral in the background.  This cathedral was given to the Jacobins and had the tomb of St. Thomas Aquinas in it.


It was really beautiful inside.



I loved Zoe's expression here.


Saint Thomas Aquinas' tomb.  Apparently he was on his way here for a visit when he fell ill and died.  I read Summa Theologica in college with distaste.  In recent years, I've stereotyped Aquinas as one of the medieval scholastics who infected Christian theology with the plague of Aristotelian thought.  Yet I wonder if I'll appreciate him more now.  I want to read G.K. Chesterton's book on Aquinas.  Reading Chesterton's Everlasting Man and Orthodoxy on this trip was really good for my mind.  I want to know why Chesterton liked Aquinas, aside from sharing the Catholic tradition.  What am I missing here?


Notice that the windows on the right are blue, while the windows on the left are red?  Now, notice that Zoe is wearing blue and John is wearing red?  Nice....



There was an inner courtyard.  This seemed kind of Spanish to me.  Interestingly enough, Amnesty International had set up posters and placards all around the covered walkways, highlighting humanitarian issues of grave concern.  That was also a good educational moment.



Here is a cathedral dating back to the 4th century called Our Lady (Notre Dame) of Toulouse.  The style was kind of gloomy.  Not very many windows.  But the deep colors were interesting.


A fountain called "The Trinity".


Random street with a mpa of the neighborhood on the wall.


Just as we were nearing this patisserie (pastry shop), I said, "I could go for a pastry right now."  According to Mari, this was the best pastry shop in Toulouse.  Nice!


Some of the goodies inside.


They specialized in the color violet.



A public drinking fountain.


This was on the way to the cathedral named after Saint Sernin.  The tan and beige colors were striking in real life.  They're a bit muted in this picture.


Saint Sernin was one of the earliest Christian missionaries to this area.  He lived in the 3rd century.  The pagan priests were angered by the fact that people were turning to Jesus.  So they seized Sernin, tied him to bulls, and let them drag him around the city of Toulouse.  He was martyred this way.  This cathedral now stands in his name and honor.


It was huge!  It was built in the 4th and 5th centuries, I believe.


The main inner sanctuary.


A side hall.  This was the first cathedral that I had seen use bricks like this.


One of the smaller side areas.



An example of an ancient tomb.


And wall painting, now greatly faded.



Another side area.


Outside, the path was made of smooth black stones, the kind my dad once put in our backyard next to the fishpond.


This was the side door we exited from.  Nice huh?


We left the cathedral and walked back to our car.  This was one of the grittier areas of Toulouse.



A section of town that had North African, probably Algerian, immigrants. 


A colorful assortment of shops and apartments.


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