Friday, March 21, 2014

A Stop on the Way in Montpellier

March 1 - March 5th. After our wonderful time in Nice with Mary and the kids we loaded up the nomad bags and headed to the train station for our next adventure. This time we are heading to Barcelona by train. It's an 8 hour journey with a train change in Montpellier, France - and being the flexible travelers we are, we decided to build in a stop for a few days.

The elegant buildings were a rich butterscotch color
The train ride was a treat ... for just a few extra euros we upgraded to First Class and it turns out we had an entire train car to ourselves for most of the journey. Plenty of room for some personal space, reading and napping. Although the scenery along the coast for most of the journey kept us glued to the windows.

Montpellier is a lovely ancient city with roman ruins and a grand cathedral. I am glad we had a reason to stop because our airbnb flat was fabulous, one of our top five!

Michael on our deck with guess what?!
We did our usual provisioning stop to get the basics which have now come down to: Milk, orange juice, assorted beverages, a few snacks, a light meal; usually salad, cured meats, cheese, bread and fruit. And cereal.

I've separated cereal because it has become an interesting challenge to find a brand that  Michael especially enjoys every morning. The thing is that almost every cereal contains chocolate! The corn flakes are chocolate or there are bits of dark chocolate in the Special K. Certainly every kid cereal wouldn't dare show it's box if it wasn't full of Nutella clusters or ChocoChunks! The granola on offer still has oats, and nuts and other good things along with chocolate chips. If you are not a fan of chocolate for breakfast, you are banished to the boxes on the top shelf - All Bran, Muesli, and a box full of strange gray clumps that just might be made from recycled cereal boxes. So I am thinking the next time we buy cereal we should head to the dark side! Maybe when we are in Rome because you know..."when in Rome..."

There is no shortage of chocolate cereal in Europe
Just to add to the joy of shopping - we ended up with a flooding shower. It obviously wasn't draining, but there was no shower pan so the water just wandered off into the bathroom. This would need a Plumber's Helper! The question is, how does that translate into French? Michael used the translator on his phone at the store but the young clerk did not speak much English and was certainly not a plumber so he couldn't 'help'.  The word Plunger wasn't much better so I jumped in with some high quality Charades moves as I demonstrated the use of the item we were looking for. Handle about this long, round dome shape, uh ... push, push, push, ... and hair (pulling on my own) whooshes out and the drain clears. "Comprendre?" "Viola! I'll get one from the back" he said with amusement.

L'aide de plombier
We made some great new friends during our stay. When we were in Paris last summer we met the parents of twins who went to daycare with Colette. Massoumeh and Fran├žois are the parents and Sheyda and Kimia the twin girls. They were very interesting, Francois is a film maker and teaches film making as a university professor and his wife Massi works as a freelance translator in the film industry. She is Iranian and speaks Farsi, French, German and English. Their little ones are almost three - and absolutely adorable. We met for coffee one afternoon, and had so much more to talk about we were invited to their beautiful flat the next night for dinner. I haven't spent any time around twins so it was a treat to play with them and observe just what it's like to see double! The best part was the flat had several rooms that flowed into each other without doors so the girls could ride their scooters from one end of the house to the other over the ancient tile floors.

Our new friends in Montpellier
The sun followed us from Nice so we had some quality time on our deck, long walks, a wander through an extensive flea market and a free concert. The kitchen was well equipped, and the farmer's market was very close, so I was able to putter in the kitchen  When in France make Boef Bourgonion!

I had to take a shot of the sky color - wish I had my Pantone book
Next we'll be in Barcelona. Michael's been there a couple of times, but I have not. I have heard from so many people that it is one of their favorite cities, so I am looking forward to it!

We'll catch you up soon. Thanks for reading.

Debbie and Michael

1 comment :

  1. Love being a little fly on the wall and sharing your journey.. Thanks for the updates! Jerri