Montpellier, France

I have had a serious case of the travel bug lately.

It’s holiday season here in the Netherlands (aka: vacation season, for all the Americans in the room). It starts around May, when there are a lot of public holidays, and peaks in August. People at work are literally going on their 2nd round of summer holiday and I’m just impatiently waiting – our turn will come.

Case in point – a long weekend spent in beautiful Montpellier, France!

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Shane spent the beginning of the week here for a conference, and I was able to join him when it ended.

One might ask, “What are the things you loved most about Montpellier?”

Well, let me tell you.

Gelato. Everywhere. Even though it’s not Italy.

I lived my best gelato life. I even remembered my lactose pills this time! (hahaaa)

“It doesn’t matter where you go, you always end up somewhere you know.” – Shane

(he’s quite the poet, huh?)

Arc de Triomphe (and no, we’re not in Paris!)
Promenade du Peyrou
Historic city center.
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Statue of Louis XIV

You “wibble wobbled” down the cutest streets.

(wibble wobble: the act of wandering aimlessly until you “end up somwhere you know”.)

Fun fact. Wibbel wobbeling is basically required here because google maps doesn’t work with the public transportation. The tram system is great!… once you figure it out. Which I was not so successful at when I arrived by myself at ~11pm on Wednesday.

Open Google maps. Suggests to walk. Get on tram anyway. Blue dot goes away from city center. Phone battery hits 15%. Shane is in city center. Panicked. Got off in {what felt like} the middle of nowhere. Got back on. Went back to where I came from. Dropped pin. Waited for Shane. Walked 25 min home anyway.

Turns out, tram line went in a circle – should have stayed on in EITHER DIRECTION. Facepalm.

Luckily for us, our Airbnb was in city center. No Google maps, only wibbel wobbeling, required.

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The view from our AirBnb.

There was no shortage of delicious food and rosé.

For instance, the delectable delights found at a restaurant called Playfood. Shane found this place before I arrived, and could not wait to go because of the concept: similar to tapas, small, sharable portions with a variety of flavors (desserts also!). You had “the crab one” and “the zucchini one” and the “I-don’t-know-what-I’m-eating-but-you-better-try-this-before-it’s-gone one”. It was also the type of restaurant where you literally couldn’t have sat inside if you wanted to because all 6 tables for the whole restaurant were outside and the owner was your watier. I always find these places so charming!

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We also decided to expand our eating, drinking, and wibble wobbeling to a new location.

Montpellier is in very close proximity to the beach.

Which can also be accessed by public transportation…without Google maps (Google itself was helpful, just no maps). But we managed, and somehow only paid half of the price we expected for the bus ticket!

We went down the path of least resistance considering we didn’t really have much to go on for directions. The beach we where we ended up was nice, but certainly not the best beach I’ve been to. Lots of places to eat and drink, which was good, and souvenir shops. For those at home, it kind of reminded me of a Myrtle Beach-type beach with clearer water, if I was going to make a comparison.

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Paradon me, I forgot to take off my white bodysuit before I got in the water…
beach 2

And lastly, more of a bonus really…

Picasso exhibit at the Musée Fabre!

I will admit I did a pretty poor job at doing any planning before we came. Not that we generally plan every moment of our time somewhere, but we at least have looked up a few priority viewing items. Lucky for us, advertisements for this exhibit were everywhere, and we were happy to have been able to go.

All in all, it was a lovely change of pace from Groningen and work for both Shane and I. (Yes – still working on that thesis. Things always take so much longer than anticipated.)

So, until next time, Montpellier!

Tot ziens,

Whitney

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We are two Americans living in the Netherlands with our fat cat, Meatball. The Shwits is a diary of our time abroad!

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