Monday, January 19, 2009

Auch, France

I am once again in Toulouse, France for work. When I take time to reflect, it is very odd to me that a foreign city is so familiar to me. I can’t believe that trips to Toulouse are old hat, routine. It can get frustrating living in limbo for when the next trip to happen – as they tend to be last minute. But I don’t want to take this unique for granted. I am thankful for all God has allowed me to do. To still be connected to an incredible group of friends & church family in Wichita and yet still get to travel. It is a unique work situation too – you form different bonds with co-workers when you live in a foreign city together. It reminds me that God’s ways are higher than my ways and renews my trust in Him and His leading.
“Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s decree will prevail.” Proverbs 19: 21
Here’s a little of my weekend escapades. I decided to explore Auch. There are signs I pass every day for highway exits in that direction. I couldn’t find much on the internet about Auch. A co-worker and I drove out there on a sunny Saturday afternoon, it’s about an hour northwest of Toulouse. It was a bigger town than I expected. Situated on the River Gers, it has a large hill that the historic city is set on.
The Grand Staircase connects the upper & lower portions of the city. I climbed all 234 steps. On the Grand Staircase is a statue of d’Artagnan, of the Musketeers. He was born in a castle only 30 kilometers from Auch.

Cathedrale Sainte Maire (St. Mary’s) is on the top of the hill. It was started in 1489 and finished two centuries later Next to it is Tour d’Armagnac – a 14th century prison. This is Pousterle de l’Est – and yes, I climbed it too. I forgot how great of a workout you get climbing up towers and hills in France.
I love finding these towns. I didn’t know what to expect, but the city was more than I expected. We took a very scenic drive home too. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of it -amazing countryside.Sunday’s plans to run down to Barcelona were scraped at the last minute because the others were sick. But it gave me the opportunity to go to church. I love Toulouse International Church. It amazes me they remember me from my 3 month stay in 2007. I got to spend the afternoon having lunch with the singles & young couples group at an elders’ house. This is the second lunch I’ve been in town for. I’m told my trip needs to coincide with the next one.

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