We booked one of those around-the-city bus tours for this morning. I thought I’d be taking a ton of photos, but took none. Although we saw a lot, the bus never put passengers in a position to take photos of the things we passed.

So let me take up the story with this: Orangina. It’s my favorite non-alcoholic French beverage. Mary Anne’s, too. I was happy to see that it’s still sold in the old bottles.

Now, a quick and awkward transition to the Couvent des Jacobins, an 800 year old monastery. The compound is so embedded in the surrounding neighborhood that getting an external photo proved impossible. I might have shown you a corner. Know that the building is made of red bricks. Kind of unusual for something so old, I think.

The interior construction is unusual. There’s a single row of supporting columns that run down the middle. This would be awkward in a conventional church since the congregation would have no line of sight to the pulpit. But this was a monastery, so I suppose no one cared. The supporting arches are interesting and come together at one point in a way that reminds one of palm trees. Or maybe snakes or spiders.

Bits of Saint Thomas Aquinas have been held in this box as prized possessions of the monastery since the fourteenth century. What I call “bits” they call “relics”.

A simple chapel off the cloister with a rather more ornate ceiling.

Another surprise for the day! The former rectory was hosting an exhibit about costume and set making by the Toulouse Opera. A fun exhibit and one that makes you realize how much work goes into the non-acting parts of a show.

This is the evil Drosselmeyer from The Nutcracker.

Large metal guys operated by levers at their backs, seemed to be quite old. They are from a production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold.

Oh yeah, that contraption at the top of the post? It’s an exercise toy in a kid’s playground. My eye was caught by the “basketball hoop” part in the middle.


  1. “Et sa Pulpe!” The story of my life . . .
    Two Rheingold giants Fassolt and Fafnir built Valhalla for the God’s home, at Wotan’s request. Wotan did not pay them. Hmm. At least one of them appears again later as a dragon, yes? Love the pictures!

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