Saturday, December 17, 2011

Playing Monet in Toulouse (by the Garonne)

The Garonne (from our window)
the lower path along the Garonne
From one side of the apartment in Toulouse, you could see the Brienne Canal.  From the otherside, you could catch the edge  the Garonne River.  The Garonne (or so says Wikipedia), stretches for some 600 km across southern france/northern spain.I didn't manage to explore all 600 kms of the river, but did try to get familiar with the kilometer or so just near the apartment we were staying in.  At the end of the street, you could climb the stairs beside the pink building, at which point you would have a choice of paths:  You could walk above, along a path lined by towering trees, or you can take the stairs down and walk along the edge of the river.   
the Bazacle in Toulouse

Either way, the stroll is gorgeous.  Right at the start of the walk, you can see a kind of break in the water, called the  Bazacle.  The word apparently designates a kind of a ford by which one could cross the river.  It is also the place where the water was the most shallow.  You can see it in this picture... the place where the water stops looking like a mirror.   In the 12th century, a dam was built at this spot, so there were windmills there til the 18th century, when a hydro-electric plant was built on the spot (it is just to the right of the photo).

The first morning i went out, the sky was streaked with clouds.  It was delicous watching the clouds and bridges and buildings reflected and doubled in the water of the river.  I did wonder if it would be possible to take a stroll every morning to see if, Monet-style, i could capture as many of the nuances possible in the interplay of light between sky and river. 

There was too much work to do (and too many things to see), so i didn't get back there every morning, but I did manage to catch a cloudy day, a clear day, and a few evening shots.  So... here they are!
the bridge on a cloudy morning


the morning sun reflected in the Garonne

The Garonne, on a sunny morning
at the quai de garonne in Toulouse

the bridge at night

1 comment:

  1. A big wow to all of that -- especially the bridge shots. Nice to see the bridge reflected in the water during the daytime (two perfect round circles), before the stunning night time shot of the same bridge.

    I lingered long enough on the shots of the sky being reflected in the river that there is a piece of me that thinks I have walked along the Garonne.

    And a little more about travelling from me and what happens when I bring back experiences of where I have been. About a week before I got home, I began to worry about driving -- thinking that I am too old to drive, and that I should give up my driver's license. That was mulling around in my head, but I gave it a try.


    Then I realized that in Naples, I had been watching the traffic which doesn't stop at red lights and has no respect for pedestrians (and in other places, but Naples was the worst), and I would have been right if I had been trying to drive there. Time to pack it in.

    But here?

    The roads seems absolutely empty. As I drive I think, where is all of the traffic? where are the people? is everyone home in bed (even though it is 5 pm)?

    Yup! Travel -- so interesting. And especially the lovely trip along the Garonne which I took this morning, via your blog.


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