Bonjour!! It’s Rina and Jack and welcome to our blog where we blog about France.
We are settled in Montpellier after spending a day on the plane, two days in paris, and taking a three hour train ride. I am really happy to be here. I felt like since I got off the plane I could immediately feel the city being completely different from anything I’ve ever felt before. The train ride from Paris to Montpellier was beautiful. I was so engaged for the entire ride staring out at the French countryside, which was so vast and picturesque I was wishing the train would slow down so I could have more time to take it in. We saw droves of farms and animal pastures that I wish I could have gotten off the train and explored.
When we arrived in Montpellier our host parents were waiting for us at the station, so I met my host mom and for the first time in four days, the group separated to go to each of our new homes. I immediately liked Montpellier better than Paris. It is far more charming and familiar and warm (60 degrees the first day we arrived). The buildings are all beige and stone and shine in the sun that is almost always shining. My host mom is a delightful grandmother named Luz who works as a nurse and favorite food is strawberry compôte.
A few days ago I came out of my room after I heard my host mom come through the door, and I was surprised to see two girls around my age with suitcases. It turned out that me and my host mom had a miscommunication, and while I thought she said that HER two sisters would be coming over that night, she was really saying that I would have two sisters staying at the house with us, who would be arriving that night. Me and my sisters bonded that night and next over dinner. Their names are Laura and Juliet, and they are both 16 and live in London. They have both been taking French for many more years than me, so I am very happy to have someone to help translate between me and my host mom at times when we are struggling to understand each other.
Getting to know Montpellier is absolutely incredible! Even though it’s pretty small, you would be surprised how much there is to explore. Aside from La Place de la Comédie, the center of town, there are loads of cute boutiques, cafés and restaurants in the surrounding parts. I have to say that one of the biggest gems of the city is all of the side streets and alleyways. Each one is completely unique, with small stores, cafés and gorgeous apartment buildings. It’s really cool that such a calm environment can be right next to the busiest parts of the city.
The architecture in Montpellier breathtaking. Every store, apartment, and school has a very gothic appeal to it. Every street is made of cobblestone, making the city feel like a small town.
Montpellier also has a fair share of historical monuments. One of the most well known ones is L’Arc de Triumph. This may sound a bit bizarre, because most people associate this name with the monument in Paris, but Montpellier decided to have its own created, which is just as stunning, especially against the skyline. There are also a few stunning churches in the area, my favorite being the Cathédrale Saint Pièrre.
Some of these buildings, the churches included, appear someone repetitive at times, but each one has something different going on in the inside. For example, when I was walking around exploring with some friends, we came across a church that had a contemporary art gallery inside of it! It was really amazing to see the contrast between modern art inside of such a historical cathedral.
We are very happy to be here and I hope everyone at home is doing well and staying warm.