Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sorties in Montpellier

Although I would love to write day-by-day posts of our outings to Montpellier, I figured I should really just put them all in one post. That way I won't forget anything! I love visiting my Beaux-Parents, and they are very kind to have us, saving us all kinds of money by making us our favorite foods, giving us free unlimited internet access, a bed to sleep in, and almost-daily laundry service. The only thing I don't like is how far away from Montpellier their town, Gallargues le Montueux, is! We have to drive for about twenty minutes on the highway (which costs something like 1€20) or take the "Route de la Mer," which (while following alongside the picturesque étangs) takes more like 45 minutes. Hey, I guess I should be happy they don't still live in Mende!

Trip 1: Okay, okay. Back to business. As you might imagine, I take any and every excuse to visit Montpellier. Two weeks ago on Monday, my excuse was: we'll check all of the video game stores in the Polygone and in Montpellier centre ville for the right version of the Xbox 360; afterwards we'll walk around the écusson, have kebabs, and then watch the France-Italy Euro 2008 game on the giant screen set up on the Place de la Comédie. We did all of this, and I took my traditional "pilgrimage" (as Belle-Maman calls it) to my favorite places in the city. Actually I was only able to do about half of the visiting I wanted, because les frangins (Jube and Le Pacha) were too tired to walk all the way to le Peyrou. So I visited St. Roch, Ste. Anne, la Rue de l'Ancien Courrier, and, between St. Guilhem and Ste. Anne, a tiny little dead-end street called Impasse Brun. This is where Jube and I had our first apartment, which we only lived in for a month while I attended French classes at the university. We borrowed it from one of his friends who was spending the summer in Ireland.

Afterwards, the food: kebabs, fries, sodas; then McFlurrys from MacDo. And then we sat down near the giant screen to watch the match. This was actually pretty fun to begin with; there were some Italian supporters who stood up and sang their national anthem to much heckling and throwing of non-lethal objects (like cigarette butts). Afterwards the rest of the crowd stood and roared out the Marseillaise (with much emphasis on Aux armes, citoyens!). Sadly, the World Cup Final rematch was not as exciting, with France losing 2-0. The crowd moped away dejectedly after it was over, and we went with them.

Trip 2: Jube and I visited the newly-reopened Musée Fabre, which at the moment has a special exhibit of Courbet. I was unfamiliar with the artist before going, but I really enjoyed the exhibition. He even painted the Roman bridge on the Vidourle that is about 10 minutes away from Gallargues, which I have visited many times (check out his route through Hérault here). That was really cool!

Trip 3: Jube and I were planning on spending all afternoon in Montpellier, but at the last second we decided just to go for a little visit and take le Pacha along with us. I decided that I wanted to see le Peyrou and the Cathedral, but fate was against us: as we moved uphill, we started hearing popping noises and shouting. We had run into a protest from the local wine producers! At first I was really annoyed, because I had wanted to see les Arceaux... but soon I realized that a protest was just as fun.
We were very close, but just as we started moving closer, the CRS (riot police) shot some tear gas canisters into the air, and all of the onlookers turned and ran. Funnily enough, it looks like blogger Joy Suzanne and I just missed each other!

Trip 4 (aka sortie en amoureux): Jube and I get to spend a long, lazy afternoon in Montpellier. After visiting the gift shop of the Musée Fabre, we had a little drink at one of my favorite squares in the city, la Place St. Ravy. I had a pamplemousse pressé and Jube had a menthe à l'eau.
Afterwards we finally made it to le Peyrou, and then headed down to the Jardin des Plantes for a little relaxation. We met a cute little cat there:
And then we went up to the Place de la Canourgue for dinner. We had a great time, and I ended with a "café gourmand" that looked like this:
That's a little tart, a cup of panacotta, and a "mint chocolate bomb." Yum!


Helene said...

Wish I was sitting at an outdoor cafe with you!!

Noelia said...

Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing all this with us, this way we are traveling too!