Travels in Spain, Portugal and France 2009
We fly in to Montpellier - long non-stop flight via Air France. Love that Airlines... so civilized. Provide you with lovely cuisine, wine and as many movies as you like. Kinda woozy when we finally get off and make our way to the car rental place. We are the only ones leasing a car... Gary has found out that it is much cheaper to lease than rent, so without any hassles off we go in this beautiful black - hard top - convertible Puget. The most luxurious car I have ever ridden in!
We circle the parking lot a few times trying to figure out what the signs mean and which direction we need to go... Fortunately the hotel is just a few kilometers away - all country roads and no traffic. At this moment our brains couldn’t have handled much more than this :)
We get to the hotel, check in and immediately go for a walk. Everyone has told us that in order to adjust to the time difference we need to stay up and go to bed at the country’s bed time...only 8 hours to stay up... ugggh.
View from our Hotel Window
What a difference a day makes....the blurriness of travel has begun to
fade and “THE MYSTERIOUS SHIFT” to creep into it’s place. We wake
refreshed. The hotel has a great bed and is very quiet. OK, OK, OK, so
it’s the fourth or fifth time that we have gotten up during the
night... but who’s keeping track! We are just happy to have managed to
keep our vow not to leave the hotel until after 8:00 AM...
8:01 we are out the door and into the city! It turns out that Montpellier is the 8th largest city in France. Ignorance is truly bliss - at this moment we feel the city is perfect for us - small, clean, friendly and walkable. Fortunately we didn’t know how large a city Montpellier is until shortly before we check out...
We walk towards “La Place de la Comedie” also known as the la “Place de l’CEuf” (Egg Plaza) due to it’s oval shape. We learn later that this plaza is one of the largest pedestrian only boulevards in Europe and is only 1/2 block away from our hotel. The Plaza is surrounded by and is part of the Historical district.. we so look forward to experiencing “old”.
A few things we notice while in Montpellier is that the people love pastries, wine, cafe noir and dressing in black. Croissants and baguettes - EVERYWHERE... open aired coffee bars with people drinking cafe noire and wine - EVERYWHERE... and happy friendly faces - EVERYWHERE. It turns out that wine is cheaper than bottled water and 1 out of 2 people are under 35. Love the young/old energy of this city... would come back!
Once we leave the plaza we enter the walkways or should I say the roads of European cities. Hardly could believe that cars drive the roads we were walking, thinking they were pedestrian paths.
Montpellier is filled with much history and architect delights. Here are samples of what we saw.