Thursday, October 04, 2007

Montpellier Ho! - part #2

After our wonderful & stupendous meal at Jardin de Sens we slept in a bit then met our friends at about 10:00AM. We wanted to see a bit of the coast so headed for Sete. We wanted to see the place where they joust from boats.

What a waste. Not a nice town at all. A very over crowded provincial sort of place not redeemed by its waterways. We continued West along the spit of land between the Med & the lake. It has a very nice beach on the Med side; could be good in the summer if not too crowded. At the end of the beach area we stopped at a large open air brocante. Lots & lots of junk, but you have to have a look just in case you find that special piece. In fact our friend found a whole large waste basket full of old pewter. No good, but ideal for melting down into new pieces. Hard bargaining got the price down to 40 Euros.

Next we decided to head for Aigues-Mortes to the East. This town used to be on the coast, but is now a bit inland due to being in the Bouche de Rhone area. Its famous for its intact city walls built by the order of King somebody or other before he went off on crusade. Turned out to be an interesting place despite being filled with tourist shops. In amongst the junk were some nice artist's shops, a good glass shop and a shop selling bandito gear.
Before arriving at Aigues-Mortes we stopped at le Grande-Motte for lunch. This town is wall to wall apartment blocks which have appalling architecture. We choose the busiest restaurant which turned out OK. Pretty hard to spoil fresh oysters, brandade and moules frites. They did manage to mangle Linda"s cod. Definitely not a meal to remember.

Anyway, back to the hotel for a rest before getting ready for the rugby match. The match turned out to be great fun with a super crowd atmosphere. There were about 40,000 people to watch the USA & South Africa play. For those of you who don't know rugby suffice it to say the South Africa are one of the best teams in the world; USA are part time college kids. The inevitable happened, but the USA put up a good scrap & had their moments. We throughly enjoyed ourselves. We also admired the efficiency of the Montpellier tram system which got us home in quick time. A nightcap at the hotel & off to bed.

We had planned more exploration of the Black Mountains the next day, but the weather had turned foul so we headed for home. As always the viaduct at Millau was totally unbelievable. From there we took the D19 through lovely, sparsely populated countryside to Villefranche. Did a bit of shopping there and got home to a rapturous greeting from Rupert.

A nice weekend and good learning experience. (pictures as soon as I get time)

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