>ur 2012 Cathedralquest to France day 21, our last day was spent in Toulouse with a visit to the cathedral .


Day 22  Monday, September 24


The first task for this morning was for Kathleen to get on line with British Air and book our seats for both flights – Toulouse to London Heathrow and Heathrow to Dulles.  This can be done on line 24 hours before the flight. After another late breakfast (we finally figured out why we eat breakfast so late – that is because I have to shave, and we both have to shower, wash and dry our hair,and get dressed before going to breakfast- we can’t go down in our PJ’s like home).

The second task of the day was to return the car.  When we booked it, the return location was out some distance from our apartment.  We weren’t sure how we would get back to our apartment.  We discovered that we are just several blocks from the train station that has an Avis office, but sometimes there is an extra change if you don’t take them back to the right location.  We walked over to the train station and talked to the agent who said that we could bring it over there and we won’t get an extra change.   We had about ¾ tank of diesel so we said they could fill it up because it was difficult to find gas stations.

We walked back to the apartment and made our way down into the bowels of the apartment/hotel complex and found the car and drove it about 6 blocks and turned it in.   The return was on the 3rd floor of the train station parking building, with no indication how to proceed after parking the car.    We got back to the office just as the staff was closing for lunch.  The woman was 30 seconds from leaving.  She was kind, and stopped for a minute to take our key and sign the paper.  This VW Polo was a nice little car.  We drove 1358 miles and push in the clutch and shifted gears – 120,347,594 times at least--my left leg and right arm feels that way.

It had rained last night and this morning was overcast and windy.  I wore my sweater to the Avis office, but decided I needed my jacket too as we were going back to this historic district.  About ¾ way down our big street to the large cross street, it started to rain so we dashed in a very nice Italian restaurant and had pizza (one pizza split in half)and since it is our last day we enjoyed a half bottle of Rose’ and chocolate profiteroles.  We had promised ourselves that we would have profiteroles once!  The tables were very close and the couple next to us spoke English.  They were originally for Colorado, but several years ago moved to Ireland and opened a wine store.  They just bought a house locally and are going to live here in Toulouse.  They had an interesting story. 

By the time we finished lunch, the sun had come out.  It was warm and still windy.  


Cathedral of St. Etienne


We walked to the Cathedral of St. Etienne.  From the outside it was very large and quite high.  

 The interior was rather strange because its building was spread over five centuries, from the 13th century to the 16th century, during which the architectural concepts went through significant transformations.  Inside the west front door was the Medieval Romanesque nave built in the 11th century.  A newer part of the building was in Gothic style, not centered but to the left.  In other words (see the photos) – to get a straight line view of the altar, I had to stand again the left wall of the old nave.   



The choir and sanctuary were gothic in design. 







The reredos behind the altar was almost Baroque. 



There is one column separating the two parts that is reported to be the highest column in any church in the world.


The cathedral contains some interesting features - stained glass windows, tapestries, paintings, a large rose window, a large organ suspended high on a wall  and seventeen chapels.


We headed home, passing a model shop, but it only carried plastic planes.    

We are very tired, but happy with all the wonderful things that we have done and seen.  I have taken 2243 photos.   I hope to finish our website of this trip within a month, maybe 6 weeks.  That statement was written 3 years ago, and I am just now publishing this journey on October 20, 2012  

We didn’t want to walk back down to the main street for dinner, so we asked the desk clerk for recommendations.  He recommended several cafes in the area behind us, but we didn’t find any that met our needs.   We walked out on the main drag that the hotel is on and stopped at Taverne Brennus.  It was a good place because they had Jack Daniels.   I had wonderful lamb chops and Kathleen had – guess what?  Duck.  I was bad and had a crepe Suzette for dessert…it was wonderful.

We bought a book at each church- we visited 27 churches plus several castles.  The books are rather thin but they do weigh something and take up space.   We need to get to bed early so the taxi can pick us up at 6:00.  Our flight is at 8:30 that is 2:30 AM eastern time.  We get to Dulles 6:00 tomorrow evening, will get our car from the motel and head home.


Day 1 - Paris

Day 2 - Sens

Day 3 - Vezelay 

Day 4 - Abbey Fontenay, Semur-en-Auxois, Vezelay -

Day 5 - Beaune

Day 6 - Beaune, Autun, Citeaux, Chateau du Clos Vougeot-

Day 7 - Cluny  

Day 8 - Cluny 

Day 9 - Paray-le-Monial and Clermont-Ferrard

Day 10 - Le Puy-en-Velay 

Day 11 - Avignon 

Day 12 - Avignon to Nimes

Day 13 - Avignon

Day 14 - Marseille

Day 15 - Marseille

Day 16 - Marseille

Day 17 - Marseille to Aigues-Mortes

Day 18 - Carcassonne 

Day 19 - Carcassonne to Toulouse  (posted 10/6/15)

Day 20 - Toulouse

Day 21 - Albi

Day 22 - Toulouse