Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Le Canal de Brienne

the lock at the Brienne canal

the old lock mechanism
As Wednesday was my last day in Toulouse, I took my last morning stroll along the canal. To get to the opposite side of the canal (or indeed, down to the jogging path that runs alongside), you first have to backtrack and walk over top of the locks.  In the photo on the left (taken from the little walkway which crosses the top of the lock), the gates are closed, with a line of leaves trapped at the top. on the other side of the walkway, you can see the old crank mechanism, presumably there to open the gates in earlier times.  I like the mix of that old piece of machinery, and the moss growing around the cobblestones, with the 'tagging' and graffiti you can see under the bridge.  An interesting mix of the old and the new.

From there, i headed off down the canal itself. According the cab driver, the trees are called Planatus.... might be like the London Plane Trees.  The trunks certainly look similar.  After I got home, a wikipedia search on the trees tells me that they are under threat from a fungus or something.  That would suck, since they are so stunning. 

As I was walking, i was trying to figure out the best angle to try and catch a whole tree in one shot.  And so I was circling a tree, trying to find the right angle to capture as much of one tree as i could. an old man wearing a beret passed me, and asked "vous cherchez un ecureil, madame?"   Was I looking for a squirrel?!   sigh.  OK.  Perhaps I did look a bit like Kiwi, circling a tree desperate to catch the mightly squirrel tormenting her from above.  Ah well.... so much for appearing suave and sophisticated in France.  I just gave up on my pride, and laid down on the ground to take photos of the trees.

La Manufacture du Tabac

I picked myself back up off the ground to start walking the canal.  Looking to the side, I realized I could see our top floor apartment (available for academic researchers visiting the university) reflected in the water of the canal in front of me. 

La Manufacture du Tabac upside down

So here is the 'above the water' version of the apartment (which covered all three sides of the top floor of this building), as well as the 'upside down reflection' version.

along the path...
 I continued my way down the canal, wondering how much shade those trees would provide with the full foliage of summer.  
under the bridge...
I strolled under bridges, and past more locks, until I got right to the other end of the Canal.

Les ponts jumeaux in Toulouse

At the other end of the canal, you find "Les Pont Jumeax".   Here, you have three bridges, each taking you in one of the  different directions you can go:  the Garonne River, le canal du Midi, or the Brienne Canal.  

I got one photo of all three of the bridges in one shot, but my camera's batteries gave out before I could get a close-up picture of the wall at the end, where there is a white bas-relief with people pointing you in the direction you want to go.  
Luckly enough, one can find such things on the web!  You can check out the site (I think it lets you translate to english) for a longer discussion.  
the bas-relief at les ponts jumeaux

1 comment:

  1. Toulouse ... now on my list of possible destinations for me.

    Thanks for the information.



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