Sunday, February 26, 2012

Walking About Montpellier, France

I woke up excited to be in France! I quickly got dressed and ran down to the square to find some espresso and a real French croissant with chocolate of course.

After munching down a chocolate croissant, I found a little visitor center in the square and luckily the guy working there spoke some English. He gave me a map of the city and circled the historic areas and landmarks for me.

Plaza de la Comedie - Trolley and Opera House
I walked down the main road in the historic shopping area. It was a Saturday and the streets were busy with people doing their Christmas shopping. This whole area next to the Plaza De La Comedie is pedestrian only for the most part so it was quite a pleasant area to wander around. I was enchanted by the winding streets and shops.

Shopping district, with the Christmas tree on the plaza in the distance.
I found an indoor market and went inside to gawk at the freshly butchered pigs and chickens on display. It was a bit bloodier than I'm used to, so I left quickly and moved on my way.

French Meat
As I walk along Rue Foch, I spotted an arch like the one in Paris. I got excited and quickly walked up to the Arc de Triomphe. It was beautiful and went over the road, so cars drove underneath it. I saw a school group going inside to be taken up to the roof. I thought about sneaking up with them, but it would have been kinda awkward, so I moved on.

Arc de Triomphe
Across the street directly ahead was a beautiful park called Promenade du Peyrou with gravel walkways and perfect fenced in squares of grass. I walked about the trails admiring the terraced view of the city in a park with trees and lamp posts in perfect rows. In the center of the far end of the park is a tall stone columned structure with a large reflecting pool on one side. On the other side of the structure is a beautiful vista of the more modern section of the city with an elevated aqueduct shooting out from the park running through the city.
Promenade du Peyrou

This park would have to be the closest I would come to walking through the famous gardens of Versaille on this trip. Sigh...
Kitty doesn't like bird on his nose!

I decided I was thirsty and it was time for lunch so I headed back the way I came and sited a bar with the Delirium pink elephant as it's logo. There was a nice shaded patio with lots of tables, but I was getting chilly so I sat at the bar inside and spoke the common language of beer names with the bartender. I ordered a Leffe and the bartender went back outside to read his paper, smoke a cigarette, all while sipping on a coffee.

After writing in my journal and enjoying my lonely Leffe, I wandered on and found myself in a beautiful square with a church called Saint Anne and directly across the square was an Irish pub called O'Carolan's. It looked welcoming so I stepped inside. The bartenders were all Irish and therefore spoke English which made me very excited. I became quick friends with the two bartenders working, well the older one was nice, the young one just annoyed me.

I asked for food, but they said I would have to go next door and bring something back. So I went next door and of course no one spoke English so I miraculously ended up with a vegetarian sub, with sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, artichokes, and onions. I ate my sandwich at the bar and talked to the bartenders about my travels, while all the patrons had their eyes glued to a rugby game on the TV.


Saint Anne
The young bartender got annoyed with me and started a sentence with “, You Americans come over here with your checklists...” Blah, blah, blah... And that was my cue to get my check.

I realized I was late anyways to move my stuff from the king room to a double back at the hotel... so I quickly found my way back. But I was disturbed by the guys attitude at the bar and it bothered me the rest of the day. Particularly because I hadn't really been using a checklist, unless you count an itinerary of cities a checklist... but I know there are far more organized tourists than me.

Tourist
I wrote it off as a case of someone who hates their life and needs to make a change...











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