Hello and welcome back to the third of seven vacances de printemps recap posts! MTC and I went on a grand tour du sud – our fifth, sixth, and seventh stop on the journey were Montpellier, Aigues-Mortes, and Nîmes. Just like the last blog post, this one will be a long one, so go ahead and get cozy and enjoy! 🙂
Mardi 10 avril 2018
MTC and I arrived at Montpellier around 18h00 and after a quick pit stop at the grocery store, we got checked-in and settled at our Airbnb. We both had some work to do, so we didn’t do anything grand after our arrival. After finishing our work, we ate dinner and chatted a bit with our hosts before retreating back into our room and watching more of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and going to sleep.
Mercredi 11 avril 2018
After our normal morning routine, we headed out to explore Montpellier! The weather was less than stellar – neither the rain nor the wind would give us a break! We made a quick stop at the tourism office before going on our own walking tour of Montpellier.
Unfortunately, almost every monument we visited was closed; that, in combination with all the rain, really diminished my view of Montpellier (which is sad, because I’m sure that during the summer, it’s pretty nice!).
We walked around Montpellier for three-ish hours before heading back to the Airbnb to change out of our rain-soaked clothes and eating lunch. Wednesday afternoon ended up being a lazy afternoon and evening. We binged the end of season two of Jessica Jones, did some work, just relaxed, ate dinner, etc. etc. etc!
Jeudi 12 avril 2018
After a bit of a lazy morning at the Airbnb, we headed to our lunch reservation at La Fine Mouche around 12h30. Long story short, it was AMAZING. With the menu we chose, you get four different types of cheese, each with an accompanying glass of wine, salad, dried fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
While not necessary, we also ordered a small charcuterie plate, which was yummy as well. I could not recommend this restaurant enough if you are ever in Montpellier!
On Thursday afternoon, we headed out to Aigues-Mortes, a small town about half an hour east of Montpellier, to explore. We had a quick coffee just after our arrival before hitting up the office de tourisme for a map.
We started off our visit at the church near the tourism office before visiting the ramparts of Aigues-Mortes (again, free to visit with the pass d’education) for an hour and a half or so.
Of all the monuments we have visited for free with the pass d’education, this one gives you pretty good bang for your buck when considering time spent at the monument vs. the price you would normally pay. Although it’s a bit out of the way, Aigues-Mortes was so worth the visit!
We visited a small boutique to buy some souvenirs for family and friends before heading out back to Montpellier. Once back at the Airbnb, we did some planning for what we were going to do the next day in Marseille and ate dinner. There was a big soccer match between Marseille and Montpellier on TV Thursday night, and our Airbnb host let us watch some of the game with him and his friend. After the first half, we went back to our room to watch a bit of Big Bang Theory before going to sleep.
Vendredi 13 avril 2018
On Friday morning, we got up, ready, and checked out of our Airbnb around 10h00 and drove to Nîmes. For those who don’t know about the city, Nîmes has rich Roman history and is thus referred to as the French Rome. It was cool to visit because, as I didn’t get the chance to visit Rome this year, I still got the opportunity to see the architecture and experience the history that Rome is so famous for.
At the office de tourisme, we bought a ticket that allowed us entry into the three biggest monuments in Nîmes: the Nîmes Arena, the Tour Magne, and the Maison Carrée.
Given that it is right across the street from the office de tourisme, we stopped by the arena first. There was a free guided tour that started just minutes before we got there, so we hopped on the metaphorical wagon and joined the 20+ person tour. Our guide was really cool – there was no doubt in anyone’s minds that he didn’t love his job, as his passion for Roman history was shining through his stories.
The interior of the arena has been well-preserved and the view from the top is remarkable.
After the visit at the arena, we started walking toward the Tour Magne and ate lunch at the base of the (giant) hill you have to climb to get to the tour itself. It was a bit of a hike to the top, but once we made it all the way up, the visit (and the view) was worth it!
We made our way back down the tour (and the giant hill) and concluded our visit in Nîmes at the Maison Carrée (The Square House). They only let a handful of visitors in at one time, so we waited about 15 minutes once we got there before we were able to enter. What I expected to be a museum was actually a 25 minutes film about the Maison Carrée. While interesting, I also found it to be a bit strange that the city would charge 6 euros for people to enter a house and watch a short film, but c’est la vie.
MTC and I wandered our way back to the car and continued on with our grand tour du sud to our next destination: Marseille!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end and check back later this week for more!
Until next time,