Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tim's Blog: The Second and Third Week!

Pick me up, love, from the bottom
Up to the top, love, everyday
I will pay no mind to taunts or advances
I take my chances on everyday


-Dave Matthew's Band Everyday


From July 16th to the 18th, I left the group and spent the weekend in Paris where I met with my parents. This wasn't a trip that was funded by Stony Brook, but I believe that any future student who goes to Montpellier through Stony Brook University should take the time to visit this amazing city. Spending the weekend with my parents was the best part of this entire trip. It was like a piece of reality coming to France and waking me up from this dream.

I took a TGV train (for those who don't know, TGV holds the record for the fastest train, traveling up to 200 mph) from Saint-Roch (which is one of the closer stops on the tram, just one right after la Comedie ) straight to Paris. After meeting my parents at the train station, we traveled back to our hotel. The Eiffel Tower is roughly about a 30 minute walk from the hotel. That night, my parents and I went to a restaurant where I finally got the chance to order Escargot. I must say, it was very small and garlicky; if you can tolerate clam, then you'd have no problem with this. It's too bad they didn't have frog's legs; that's what I really want to try.

On Saturday the 17th we spent time walking up and down the Seine River visiting the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe. We also had time to take a river boat tour, which I highly recommend to everyone that visits Paris. It showed and explained nearly every single famous site in Paris along the Seine River, so if you're only in the city for a few days, at least you'd be able to see everything in the span of an hour.


On Sunday, the last day in Paris with the 'rents, we visited Notre Dame Cathedral right as 12 o'clock mass began. We were able to walk around the outskirts of the chamber while mass presumed at its center. After mass let out, we walked along the river Seine back to the Eiffel Tower, where we grabbed a taxi and returned to the hotel, and inevitably, the train station. The train ride back to Saint-Roch was quick and smooth. I was looking forward to getting back to the group to see how their weekend went and to live out the last two weeks of France.


On Thursday, July 22nd, our group traveled to Sete and walked the peninsula, "Venis du Languedoc", known for its many channels. We first arrived to Mt St Clair where he had a panoramic view of the city and its coastline. We traveled to the port and walked around the town visiting its many shops and trying some of their restaurants. We left the city and traveled to a nearby beach where we spend an hour soaking in the sun and swimming in the warm water of the Mediterranean Sea.



Our group had a free day that Saturday, so a few friends and I went to the Montpellier zoo and saw some animals. First of all, the zoo is GIGANTIC with an excellent array of animals! Some animals included where cheetahs, rhinosaurus, kangaroos, lions, etc. After walking around for a few hours, we ate at the zoo's restaurant. My meal consisted of a raw (but otherwise delicious) piece of steak along with some delicious steak fries (oh how I'd thought I'd never miss steak fries. Silly me.) Next to our table was a window that overlooked into an exhibit filled with monkeys and birds. As we were eating, a few monkeys came up to the glass and watched us! One even brought some food and ate with us! Later that night, I led us to my favorite restaurant in all of France, "Les Jardins de la Babote" where we had an excellent three course meal. Upon asking the waiter what he'd recommend from the menu, he suggested that their lamb was "quite exceptional." And it was, along with their scalloped potatoes and mixed salad. For desert I tried their white chocolate milk shake, which ended up being a favorite of the group.


So I've survived the second and third week! With one week left, we all plan to do everything we can so that we leave France with no regrets!



4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the blog! If you want to keep up with your French online or on your iPhone a good service is Babbel.com (http://www.babbel.com). Bon Voyage!

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