Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Monday, June 26, 2023

To Toulouse and Back, June 1 - 8

 We arrived back at the Agen Marina Saturday afternoon and Kevin set out for Paris by train on Sunday. Sunday was also a day of music in Agen. Several stages were set up throughout the center of the city and various choral groups were performing all day. 

One of the many acoustic groups that were performing over the weekend.

I took the opportunity of Kevins absence to catch up on some of the chores that had been neglected since my arrival. The whole boat got washed, the deck was scrubbed and the interior got a good sprucing up. I also got a chance to take care of a bunch of laundry.

Unfortunately for Kevin, he wasn’t able to get any last minute tickets to the tennis tournament but he had a few days to wander around the city and visit some of the monuments and museums. He returned Wednesday afternoon and we made preparations to head off for Toulouse.

When Cathy Jo and I visited last year we considered our time in Toulouse as reconnaissance as our plan was to return to the city at least twice this year. Those plans were obviously dashed but I wanted to get back for at least a couple of days. Thursday morning Kevin and I set off at the usual time and made our first stop in Pommevic, reaching the villages moorings about 2 pm. I made a quick trip into town but as it was the lunch “hour” and everything (really, only a cafe/tabac) was closed. I did revisit the church though.

Friday we made the 21 k to Castelsarrasin for the night and Saturday we stopped at the side of the canal just east of the village of Dieupantale. There is good bank there for stakes and trees line the southern side of the canal so we were able to get some afternoon shade on a warm day.

Sunday we made the 36 k and 12 locks to Toulouse and by about 5 pm were tied up in the same moorings Cathy Jo and I used last year, a bankside spot just past the St. Sauveur marina.

As Kevin is an aviator, our first stop Monday morning was a trip on the metro to visit Aeroscopia, a big exhibit hall and museum dedicated to aviation and, as the Toulouse Blagnac Airport is the home of Airbus, there were plenty of aircraft to see.

Inside the exhibit hall were examples of the history of flying.

Outside was a display of the Airbus fleet.

The super jumbo A380

And of course, the Concorde

Tuesday I spent wandering the city visiting several of the magnificent churches and monuments.

Lunchtime in the Place du Capitole

One of my favorites is the Basilica of Saint Sernin, built in honor of the first bishop of Toulouse and a martyr saint. Killed in 250, a modest basilica was built in the 5th century but it soon became popular with pilgrims and the current building was constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries. Major restoration work has continued since the 18th century.

After the visit to the Basilica I made my way past several other monumental buildings to the Pont Neuf and the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la Daurade.

The basilica was completely rebuilt at the end of the 18th century on the site of one of the oldest churches in the city, probably a chapel for the Visigoth kings.

It features a just restored “Black Madonna”

And a very interesting depiction of Purgatory.

Wednesday morning it was off, back through the last three locks of the Canal du Midi and onto the Canal de Garonne. We would spend Wednesday night back near the village of Dieupentale where we spent the previous Saturday night and then head back down the Canal du Montech to revisit Montauban.


  1. Don, it sounds as if the weather and the cruising is being kind to you. I've heard reports of the most awful thunderstorms in the area, so I'm glad you're avoiding them, or maybe not, because this blog is retrospective, I know. Thanks for the tour around Toulouse. I would so love to go back and visit it again myself. Now I'm looking forward to your next post!

  2. No spoilers here! There is a little bit of "fun" to come.


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