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Toulouse Travel Blog› entry 17 of 20 › view all entries
Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France ... also called the pink city because many old buildings are finished in red brick without plaster. It is very much a centre of education with one of the oldest universitires in Europe.
It is also home to the the European aerospace industry ... the Caravelle, the Concorde and now the Airbus A380 (largest passenger aircraft in production). In true continental fashion, the factory is only operational Monday to Friday! Each shift lasts 9 hours (including a one hour lunch I presume, not sure with or without wine).
The A380 factory tour was a small and friendly operation ... the guide does a considerable amount of talking, supplemented with some video presentations. Quite unlike many all-singing and all-dancing fully automated presentations one expects nowadays in a Disneyesque fashion. Despite this, the whole tour operation (subcontracted) had a mickey-mouse feel to the way it was run.
The 1.5 hour tour was interesting ... apart from the aircraft being built and tested, we saw a fully painted A380 being towed out, a takeoff and a landing ... something not many visitors get to see, we were told.