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Travelog – Lundi, 5 Mars

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Since we had been unable to sleep past 7am so far on the trip, we had planned to spend the morning walking around the town while we waited for Carrie and Neal to wake up (they live on the bartender's schedule, and don't get up until around noon). Instead, we SLEPT IN!! Wooo! We were ready to go by the time Carrie and Neal called.

The four of us had crepes for lunch on the Place de la Comédie, under blue skies. We experienced the first of many meals with the stereotypical European customer service (or lack thereof), which I came to appreciate. Unlike the American method of pushing customers through their meal to get more people in, throughout our trip, I realized that the European waiters weren't being rude. They were leaving us to enjoy our meal. This, of course, is a problem if you're in a hurry. Most people in Europe, when they eat at restaurants, are not in a hurry, and can easily spend hours on one meal. I love that.

After paying the bill, we walked down to the Jardin du Champ de Mars, where we waited for some of Carrie's visiting friends to join us.

Once they arrived, we went up to the Musée Fabre, only to find that it was closed. Apparently, everything in France that isn't closed on Sundays is closed on Mondays (if not both). We made plans to come back the next day. Instead, we continued down the Champ de Mars to the Corum, a building with a rooftop view of the entire city. We couldn't have asked for a better day.

After the Corum, we walked down to this hotel that had several models of the city of Montpellier – past, present and future. The models were incredibly detailed, but still just models inside of a hotel, so after picking out things like Carrie's flat and the local cathedral, we continued on our journey.

Our next stop was Le Château d'eau, the head of the old aqueduct that served water to the city.  It afforded more great views of the city.  We studied a statue of some famous guy on a horse to try and figure out the famous mistake made by the sculptor (no stirrups! – smartypants Jon figured it out first).

It was getting late in the afternoon, and after all that walking, we were pretty tired.  Carrie, Neal, Jon and I hit up a wine shop to find something special for tomorrow's planned picnic before visiting the museum again.  We asked for a dry, full-bodied red, the shop owner figured out that we were American, and said something like “Let me find you the oaky wines.  All Americans want the oak-aged wines.”  I suppose it's true, but I am always up for something new.  There were no official tastings, so we didn't really spend time there (and ended up buying no wine on the trip – travesty!), but we did persuade the shop owner to pour us samples from one good bottle.  It helped that Neal is fluent, and that we were all excited to learn more about French wine.  When we finished up there, we went back to the hotel for a nap before dinner.

Neal had made us reservations at his favorite French restaurant in town.  In a word, it was FANTASTIC.  I can't recall exactly the food that everyone ate, I just know that it all tasted great.  We had an appetizer course with aperitifs (kir royale, yum!), and a main course (confit de canard) with a delicious bottle of red.  The atmosphere was almost dungeon-like, with dark stone walls and low red lighting; we were even below street level.  You would expect it to be gloomy, but actually it was very comfortable.  Not that I'd ever want to spend time in a real dungeon.


Written by Sarah Levantine

April 23, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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