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In general, most people grow up with one of two cartoon heroes that they and their friends loved and that they still, often when around kids, identify as a hero. The French take Tin Tin even more seriously, and he is seen not just as a cartoon figure but a part of modern French-language literary tradition. It shouldn't surprise you, then, to find an actual store dedicated to the character (who is actually the product of a French-Belgian cartoonist) in major French cities. This one in Toulouse had everything you could imagine related to Tin Tin, expect (it appears) the comic books themselves. Those are, of course, easily purchased at any comic book store or regular bookstore in the city. Instead, you can get everything from wine glasses to note books to pyjamas with Tin Tin and Milou emblazened on them, or, naturally, any of the other characters that made regular appearances in the series.
What to buy: I'm not sure that Madame de Castafiore gracing your kitchen clock is something that is uniquely Toulouse, but it might be a cute memory for you if you did decide to purchase it. I suggest just going in and looking around - the sanest thing I could think to buy was either a notebook (actually my parents got me the Sceptre d'Ottokar one when I was 16) or a small figurine.
What to pay: Haha, these things don't come cheap. Expect to pay A LOT for your Tin Tin slippers.
Written Dec 21, 2008
Address: Place des Puits Clos, 12
As I've said with the Gibert Joseph Bookstore, the French really take their books seriously, so it should not surprise you that this mega-store is around the corner from Gibert Joseph and that both are in fact less than a 5 minute walk from the Virgin Megastore, which is on the other side of Place Jean-Jaurès. It's hard to judge properly, but I believe that Castèla had, perhaps, slightly more stock than did Gibert Joseph. There were fewer floors but the actual building is larger, and it is a lot easier to get around. The aisles are nowhere nearly as cramped. It also seemed to have a much better selection of language books and regional interest material. Castéla, from what I gathered during this visit and the last one I made a decade or so ago, specializes much more in texts that might be of interest to particular clients and university students. For example, both Gibert Joseph and Castéla had the same sections, but Castéla's areas on more academic topics and books that would be requested by those with particular interests in, say, humanity or social science studies, were much larger.
What to buy: I have to say that Castéla has the best selection of foreign language learning materials that I have ever seen outside of, say, Moe's in San Francisco. It's not just that the section was enormous (in the basement, arranged according to specific language groups with a special section on regional languages in France) but that it also contained a number of hard to find titles. In particular, the books for learning Arabic was quite comprehensive, as were those on the regional languages.
What to pay: Standard European prices - less than in England, more than in the US.
Written Dec 21, 2008
Address: Place du Capitole, 20
Phone: +33 05 61 23 24 24
Gibert Joseph is, I believe, a chain of French bookstores. For those who are not French or are not acquainted with the French nation's bibliophilia, it suffices to say that calling something a great bookstore in France carries much more weight than the equivalent statement for a place like Canada. Gibert Joseph is five stories (maybe six), but that is actually augmented by the fact that there are smaller rooms filled with books between each of the stories. Perhaps the layout of the store is not the best - it is not designed along the lines of Barnes and Nobles or Borders, with their "relax while you browse" attitude - but rather the design of the store is meant to maximize shelf space. There are dozens if not hundreds of bookcases on each of the levels filled with books of the most varied subjects, including a huge selection of foreign language books, fiction (both French and foreign), instructional books and comics. There is also a section for stationary items and the sort of knick-knacks you'd expect at a bookstore.
What to buy: I generally look through very specific sections of bookstores, especially when I am in a foreign country, so I can only really say that I checked out the foreign language, travel, fiction and graphic novel sections. All of these were extremely comprehensive although, I am sad to say, I was unable to find a copy of TinTin in Occitan (I collect TinTin in various obscure languages). Still, one of the best things to buy here are regional interest books - lots of titles that deal with everything from the Occitan language to the Albigensian Crusade to the aerospace industry and its impacts on Toulouse.
What to pay: I suppose that you could say books are generally standard European prices - cheaper than England, more expensive than the US.
Written Dec 21, 2008
Address: Rue du Taur, 3
Phone: +33 05 61 11 17 77
Not only does the proprietor know wine, but he speaks and understands English! If you are looking for gifts or to add to your cellar -- WOW! -- this is the place to go. It's not a big shop, yet it has a fairly large selection of local wines. I'm assuming he would ship for you too, although I have always enjoyed my purchases while in Toulouse or carried them home in my carry-on luggage.
What to buy: White wine. Red wine. Champagne. Armanac.
When I was there in Nov 2004, he had these wonderfully decorated bottles that said "Toulouse" on them. They made great gifts at about 10 euro each.
Tell the man what you want and he will help you select it. My first request back in 2003 was a nice dry white apertif type wine to sip at your hotel before going out to dinner? He sold me a bottle for 7 or 8 euro. Again, WOW! It was a local white that was similar in style and substance to a white burgandy. I cannot think of anything comparable in the US but figure it would go for $20-$25 a bottle here. Besides red and white wines, I have purchased champagne from him and armanac and a liquer called "violette". (Unless you like very sweet liquors, stay away from the "violette". I bought it 'cause the violet is the flower of Toulouse.) Other than the violette, I have been more than pleased.
What to pay: As little as 4 euro to 100 euro plus for some of the aged armanacs and brandies and rare champagnes... Good whites can be had in the 7-12 euro range and good reds can be had in the 10-20 euro range...
Updated Mar 28, 2005
Address: 7 Esplanade Compans Caffarelli - Bd Lascrosses - 3
Phone: Týl : 05 61 22 60 62 - Fax : 05
Le patron est Lyonnais mais ses jambons Serano viennent indubitablement d'Espagne. Des jambons de grande qualité, comme ses fromages manchego.
The boss is of Lyon but his Serano's hams come undoubtedly from Spain. Of the high quality hams, as his cheeses manchego.
Written Nov 19, 2004
Address: Place des Carmes
Chaque dimanche, les fermiers des environs de Toulouse viennent vendre leurs production : légumes, fruits, miel, fromages ou comme ici volailles (vivantes), et oeufs...
C'est un maintien d'une tradition tenace des marchés de village, où l'on trouve encore des produits authentiques, loin de la fadeur des produits industriels aseptisés.
Every Sunday, the farmers of the vicinities of Toulouse come to sell their production: vegetables, fruits, honey, cheeses or as here poultries (living), and eggs...
It is a maintenance of a tenacious tradition of the village markets, where one finds more authentic products, far from the industrial product vapidity sterilized.
Written Nov 3, 2004
Tous les mercredi, la place du Capitole se rempli des étalages des marchands forains. On y trouve surtout de l'habillement et des objets pour la maison. Le caractère cosmopolite de Toulouse se retrouve dans ce marché qui vous permettra un véritable tour du monde des produits de tous les pays d'Afrique, d'Amérique du sud ou d'Asie.
All Wednesday, the place of the Capitol himself full of the fairground merchant displays. One finds the clothing and objects there especially for the house. The cosmopolitan character of Toulouse meets in this market that will allow you a real tour of the world of the products of all countries of Africa, South America or Asia.
Written Nov 3, 2004
Address: Place du Capitole
Le lundi 9 septembre, l'Espace Stade Toulousain a ouvert ses portes.
350 m2 de rayonnages où vous trouverez :
. Tous les équipements officiels NIKE du club
. Une gamme élargie de textiles NIKE
. Des collections de chaussures sport et loisirs NIKE
. Les collections de vêtements STADE TOULOUSAIN dessinés par VILLARET avec les nouvelles lignes Femme, Junior, et Bébé !
. Tous les produits GILBERT : Ballons, Casques, Protections
. La collection sportswear complète NTK
. Une billetterie pour toutes les rencontres du Stade Toulousain
What to buy: Monday September 9, the space Stade Toulousain opened its doors.
350 m2 of shelvings where you will find :
. All facilities official NIKE of the club
. A range widened of NIKE textiles
. Of the collections of shoes sport and NIKE leisures
. The collections of clothes STADE TOULOUSAIN drawn by VILLARET with the new lines Woman, Junior, and Baby!
. All GILBERT products: Balls, Helmets, Protections,
. The collection sportswear completes NTK
. A billetterie for all matchs of the Stade Toulousain
Updated Oct 27, 2003
Address: Espace Stade Toulousain Rugby, 75 rue Alsace-Lorra
Les boutiques de la zone internationale de l'aéroport proposent, comme partout des produits de luxe détaxés.
Ici, vous trouverez les produits régionaux :
Foie gras du Gers, Vins de Gaillac, Cahors ou Fronton, Violettes de Toulouse et tous les produits dérivés, Armagnac et autres alcools locaux...
The boutiques of the international zone of the airport propose, as everywhere of the products of luxury free of tax.
Here, you will find the regional products:
Foie gras of Gers, Wines of Gaillac, Cahors or Fronton, Violets of Toulouse and all derivative products, Armagnacs and other local alcohols...
Updated May 24, 2003
The boutique invites the women in an universe of luxury, beauty, femininity and pleasure where all is symbol.
As this helical staircase, of the XVIII th century, that doesn't lead nowhere, picture of the useless, indispensable gas of the luxury.
Written Mar 12, 2003
Address: 26, rue Croix-Baragnon
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