Postcard from Toulouse, France: Brick and timber swaybacks still standing

After the aristocratic, monochromatic ashlar (of large cut-stone masonry) buildings lining the streets of Bordeaux, walking the streets of Toulouse is like a double jolt of espresso. Yes, there are a multitude of stone-faced structures of the same period of affluence as those in Bordeaux, but there is also brick, tons of it. Often brick is laid in striking patterns contrasting the red with stone.

But, for now, I’ve isolated a few of what certainly appear amongst the oldest group of structures in the historic center of Toulouse. Without turning to experts to verify in each of these cases, these half-timbered houses with brick infill probably date to the 16th century. Several are constructed of Roman brick, shorter in height and wider than more “contemporary” brick.

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Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Last images before pulling out

The trams in Bordeaux are sleek, modern, comfortable and clean as they quietly surf about 50 miles of track in the city. We tend to walk wherever we head, but they certainly were easy and convenient when we wanted to go to the train station for excursions or, ultimately after a month, to leave town.

Leaving behind a smattering of snapshots.

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Postcard from Bordeaux, France: French and other worldly flavors

Above: Grilled fresh sardines at La Pointe Chartrons

We’ve taken you to eat, virtually only, in Bordeaux’s Marche des Capucins and along Rue du Ha, so now we’re going to wander willy-nilly through the city for a final wrap-up of restaurants we sampled.

Located along the Quai des Chartrons, Pastel was among our favorite contemporary French restaurants in Bordeaux. Lunch requires reservations, and, waiting late, we only succeeded in obtaining those once. The soft lemony cheese appetizer with eggplant and tomato confit was particularly refreshing and memorable.

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