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Day 1: Toulouse

Today risked being uneventful, being given as it was only to travel. We intended to fly to Toulouse via KLM, check in to the hotel where we intended to spend the two weeks and then see about meeting up with Cafard, which would at least add something notable to the end of the blog entry and would very likely extend to the early hours of the next day's.

We were in for a bit of a shock at the airport. KLM needed to bump some people from our oversubscribed flight and we were two people whom the frantic representative focused on. We weren't too impressed at all with the idea (why should we be stranded because they sold more tickets than they had seats on the aeroplane), but they went out of their way to make it worth our while to take an alternative route via Paris (Charles-de-Gaulle) by upgrading us to business class and escorting us to the front of the security queue. Well, there have been far worse starts to a holiday!

We landed in Toulouse and headed to our hotel, a low-budget, no-frills affair called Etap. In hindsight (I'm writing this entry five years later having just spent the weekend in an ibis budget hotel, the new name for etap, in which the room was tiny, the toilet and show little cupboards and bed very uncomfortable) it was not far off a luxury affair and would prove to be a perfectly pleasant new home over the duration.

We arranged with Cafard to meet at a certain bar and so set off. It was closed when we got there (most of France holidays in August, so this is always a risk) and so Clare and I elected an alternative. Unfortunately, Cafard didn't return our messages to say that he would be late (when I finally caught him he explained he had no credit, which shouldn't have surprised me at all) and so we grew tired after a while and so returned back to the hotel. It had been a long day anyway and so going to bed at a reasonable hour was a happy proposition for us anyway. We would catch up with Cafard and other friends later but we had plans for Sunday already; a trip to the medieval walled town of Carcassonne.

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