Thursday, June 20, 2013

Montpellier: Sunshine in the South of France

Voilà! Finally, I have a few minutes to spare to write this long overdue post  about the beautiful town of Montpellier, France. It's almost six weeks late, actually (a "moment to spare" in Oxford, when you are a non-EU student urgently looking for full time work and frantically finishing a thesis, is really a rarity). As you'll recall, I stayed with a host family in their beautiful home and visited the French countryside on my first research trip; the second trip was a much more rushed, but a welcome visit back to beautiful sunshine.

Just before I get to the slideshow of photos, here are a few tips if you plan to travel to Montpellier and experience the beautiful south of France:

  • Bring sunscreen! It is gorgeous and beautiful and will make you forget that England isn't quite sure what the definition of "summer" is
  • Try to catch a random show (like the Montpellier Capoeira Club) performing in the streets
  • Obviously, get a croissant. I'd say where, but really, every one I had from a proper bakery was fabulous
  • Go to the Gaumont cinema in the city centre and watch a film in French. Or, choose from several smaller cinemas on the side roads that show artsy films
  • Pose with the statues
  • Go through side streets and side streets and little avenues until you find yourself lost amongst the cobblestone roads and discover a shop, cafe, restaurant or bakery you just can't resist.
  • Stay out late at The Place de la Comédie - it's safe, small and a beautiful place to grab a midnight gelato or crepe
  • Take advantage of the wonderful African influence the city has - music, stores with beautiful jewelry, culture and history
  • Take the 40 minute tram to the beach! Yes, that's right, a REAL beach with beautiful sand and ocean and little, overpriced restaurants along the side, just minutes away from the city

    Anyway, enjoy the slideshow!

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