Ventures in Montpellier #1
Life is good as I sit in the Cafe Riche on the Place de la Comedie in Montpellier. Not yet connected to the internet in our apartment (the French way is not exactly rapide), I have assigned myself to the cafe internet life and the library for a few more days. The Place de la Comedie is the center of Montpellier with a square the size of two football fields, a historic Opera house on one end and a grand esplanade with fountains on the other. Dotted along the square are cafes and brasseries and a very fancy McDonalds.
Zoe and I arrived at our apartment late Tuesday night and were thrilled with how it turned out. Bright, light, airy and modern. Of course, like any remodel, there are a few items still not done (baseboards, finishing touches, door handles, closets and such), but over the next 8 weeks it will be completed. The area we are in is close to the Tram (light rail) #2, and stacked with apartments and the necessary stores you need for living; a fruit and legumes, patisserie, boucherie, midi-libre (books), coiffures, cafe, and small grocery store. The beauty is that you can easily live without a car and go most anywhere in the city. At our tram stop, bikes are for rent for 2euro a day - go as far as you want, leave the bike at another tram stop and take the tram back. Montpellier truly has figured out the mass transportation without the traffic jams of buses. Next year the tram that goes all the way to the beach will be completed.
Like any new venture (adventure) we are feeling a bit uncomfortable with not knowing where to go and what to do and who to visit. Yet, that is what traveling and moving somewhere new does to you. Meanwhile, i get to finally practice saying for real the one sentence every high schooler learns, "Ou est la biblioteque Sil vous plait?" Where is the library?" And I really want to know! The libraries here are called mediateques and full of every type of media you can imagine, plus they have free internet, which I need right now.
So here we sit in Place de la Comedie sipping our cafe and siroup de menthe (syrup de Mint) watching the people go by.