As I mentioned in my last blog, at the start of the second semester I was barely ever in Toulouse. I must really admit though that France, especially the south is beautiful and it’s definitely worth seeing and travelling around. On one of my latest trips, I went with a group of friends to see Cahors – a town famous for the black wine it produces and for its old centre full of legends. The symbol of the town is the famous Valentré Bridge, one of the ancient Devil´s bridges around Europe, which has a very particular myth pertaining to it. It says that the builder of the bridge made a pact with the devil who was supposed to help him and fulfill all of his orders in exchange for his soul. As the builder wanted to save his soul, he made a bet with the devil just before completion to bring him water in a large sieve. The devil obviously failed and lost the bet, but he promised to get revenge on the builder.
Black wine from Cahors
( you can really find any type of wine in France)
It was interesting to see this piece of history and we did a little walk up on the hill just over the bridge, which gave us a wonderful view of the town.
As I’ve mentioned before, we usually use the website Blablacar for travelling, and instead of paying 44 euros on a train journey, we spent around 14e return and got a lift where and when we wanted and had a nice chat with the people in the car. So it’s not just that Blablacar is cheap and ensures a pleasant journey, it’s also a way to find new friends 😛 For example, one of my mates (who is also Slovak) found himself in a car with two other Erasmus students from Toulouse (who happened to be another Slovak and a German) and those two guys joined us on our trip to Cahors. What´s more, Cahors actually wasn’t the last stop on their trip – they were going on to visit St. Cirq Lapopie afterwards. They told us about a cheap bus ride there and described what the place was like, so we said, “Why not go there too?” and made some changes to our little trip. St. Cirq Lapopie is a small village on a hill overlooking a river and it is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. Walking along its small medieval streets literally felt like being back in Middle Age.
People actually live in those houses 😛
Being so close to Pyrenees and the Alps, I was lucky enough to get the chance to do lots of skiing this year. I went on a university skiing trip with my boyfriend´s uni to the Alps where I spent an amazing week in the biggest ski resort in the Southern Alps – Vall d´Allos. There are more than 100 slopes in the resort so even a week wasn´t enough to get to know resort very well! We were also lucky with the weather, as it was almost always sunny…. maybe even too sunny, with there being 2 degrees on slopes on our the first day of skiing, hah. We were a group of around 80 students and apart from skiing every day and partying nights 😛 , the organisers threw some other events like after-ski drinks and barbecues and sledge races for us ! The Alps are absolutely stunning and I’m definitely counting on coming back again ! 🙂
My lovely Toulouse
Even though all those little trips were amazing, I am also trying to enjoy Toulouse (the best city !!! after Glasgow) . Now that it’s the end of March, the weather is getting so nice that last Saturday we spent the whole day in a park. It was around 25 degrees ( in March!) and the park was even more full than Kelvingrove park in June 😛 .
Erasmus coming to an end…
My second semester finishes in about a week 😦 After that, though, we have two weeks of spring break and I can’t wait to enjoy those last moments with my friends in Toulouse. I have nothing planned yet but hopefully will come up with something soon, as almost everyone is going somewhere. In May we just have an exam period and then it´s the end. I will be so sad that my Erasmus is over and that is the reason why I am currently trying to find a way to stay in Toulouse. As I made a lot of friends who actually live here and are staying over the summer, and as I fell in love with the city, I just couldn’t imagine leaving so soon . Also, Toulouse is one of the cities hosting the UEFA Euro this summer so I can´t wait to experience the atmosphere in the city! It is kinda hard to find a job here though, as I am not a native speaker. But I´ll try my best and maybe I’ll get lucky! A few applications have already been sent off, so wish me luck!
To conclude, everyone says that during your exchange you should travel as much as possible. My advice is: if you can find cheap ways to travel, why not? Or, if you´re skint and you spent all of your Erasmus grant in the first semester, why not just enjoy exploring the city where you are while you´re there?
Thanks for reading my blog and if you have any questions I am always more than happy to answer them !! 🙂