Montpellier: Bikes, Baguettes and the Beach
Unsurprisingly, we were confused about how to get to our hotel almost immediately after getting off the train in Montpellier. Emily went into a store to ask for directions, and a man came out to point us on our way.
Well, I thought he was only going to point out simple directions, but then he beckoned for us to follow him. At first we were a little sketched out as he led us through the parking lot by the train station. Behind me Becca whispered “I know where he’s taking us. He’s taking us to his big windowless van.” But it turned out he really was just a nice guy. He led us onto the tram, pointed us right to our hotel, and was surprised and at first refused when we handed him a tip.
It was a nice introduction to the people of Montpellier. We found out after dinner that not all guys in Montpellier were that nice. As we walked back to the hotel, there were more creepers and cat-callers than in Geneva, and that’s saying something. It was like they had never seen a group of girls before. At one point we passed a tram going the opposite direction and a few guys in the tram even banged on the window. It was kind of disconcerting actually, but we made it back to our hotel safely and decided not to walk back at night again.
Aside from the creepers, Montpellier is quite cute. At the center of town is Place de la Comedie, which has the opera house on one end and a park on the other, as well as some cute restaurants and shops.
The morning after our arrival, we found a place to rent bikes. It was only 1 euro to rent a bike for 4 hours! After getting slightly lost (typical) we found a pretty promenade with a triumphal arch at one end. Chaining up our bikes, we walked through the arch into some old narrow streets where we had a delicious lunch at a small bakery. There is a reason the French are known for their bread.
Walking around near our hotel later, I noticed that Montpellier has a habit of copying famous statues to place around the city. Example 1:
Example 2: (You might not be able to see this one as clearly)
Look familiar? There were a few more that I was pretty sure I recognized from the Louvre. They do look nice though, original or not.
On our last day in Montpellier, we took a bus to the beach. It looked pretty similar to most other beaches I’ve seen, but it was kind of weird to be chilly on the beach. (Picture stolen from Becca)
It was nice to see some sun, but we didn’t stay long. I did get to dip my toes in the Mediterranean, which was my main goal for the day, so I was happy. Our checklist for Montpellier complete, (biking, going to the beach, and eating lots of baked goods), we got up early the next morning to catch our train to Barcelona.