Overcast, rainy and cold. It has been cold again, and it has been raining all day. However, we HAD to get out. So off we went to the Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse … again. An indoor, high-end, high-quality market, we always salivate upon entering and encountering the aromas. The meats, cheeses, and seafoods are beautifully presented and exceptionally fresh. There are restaurants all around, and it was here that we ate lunch.
The city of Montpellier
We have always said that our travels do not stem from a desire to leave someplace, but rather to go somewhere else. To us it is a significant difference. I think it is a corollary to the “glass half-empty or glass half-full” thing. And so it was, on 01 December, when we departed Montpellier. It had been a wonderful place to be, to make friends, to eat, and to explore the surrounding areas. We had not seen everything there was to see, but that wasn’t the goal to begin with.
Our friends Rich and Patti drove from Barcelona, Spain to Montpellier to visit us. That meant they had a car. We ate, drank, and enjoyed each other’s company. On the third day of their visit, a road trip to the ancient medieval city of Aigues-Mortes (102 B.C.E.) was called for. This walled town dates back to the 13th century, though people lived here long before.
Long-time friends from Florida visited us in Montpellier recently. We have known Rich and Patti for far longer than I want to calculate. At our last April Fool’s party (40th wedding anniversary), they threatened to come to France and drink wine with us. To our delight, they drove in from Barcelona where they had spent a few days to do just that.
We took the tram from Montpellier to the beach today. It is off-season, and the weather was beautiful. We got off the tram not knowing where we were going. A map showed that the town Palavas-les-Flots was about 2 miles (3.4km) down the beach so we walked along the road to what we expected would be a sleepy little beach town. Along the way three guys passed by and two were wearing tutus. Huh? That should have been a clue.
When we first selected Montpellier as the starting point for our nomadic life, I assumed we would likely see it after we’d sold our house, put things in storage, and booked our one way ticket. But then Chris suggested that we should probably check it out just to get a taste of life there, to determine if it would work for us. Having just returned from 10 days in an apartment there, our decision is a resounding Yes!
"It’s easy to get the feeling that you know the language just because when you order a beer they don’t bring you oysters…” Julia Childs First of all let me state for the record that I find French to be a beautiful language. Hearing it spoken is like listening to Debussy or Ravel. It is melodic and it is expressive. The brief exchange between two friends or between a shopkeeper and a customer is like a song, … but I don't know the words.