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Trip Report Montpellier France, a short trip and report

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We had 60,000 Marriott points to spend and I thought I could add on a few days to our trip to Paris and Provence last September/October. There are not many Marriott properties in France and for the amount of points we had; we were able to book 4 nights at the Courtyard in Montpelllier.

We drove in from The Luberon and had a heck of a time getting around Montpellier. I had printed directions from Michelin and maps too, but we really had a tough time. We needed to get to the train station as we needed to exchange our rental car from Europcar. It had been broken into in Menerbes and the window wouldn’t close fully. We finally found the train station and as luck would NOT have it, they had no cars at the TGV station. So we had to go to the airport to try and trade the car. Off we went and again we got pretty turned around. The one good thing was that we just happened to find a small sing on a lamppost for the Courtyard and an arrow point to the right. We found the hotel, checked in and the headed to the airport. This time luck WAS on our side as the Europcar agent and a mechanic were able to get the window back on its track and it worked again. So, back to the hotel to park and then off to explore.

The Courtyard is in a decent location in the plaza next to City Hall. There is a wine shop, a boulangerie and a tram stop right outside hotel. There was also a Laundromat nearby where we were able to do laundry. There is a really nice walking path and park area nearby, which is along the river Lez..

We walked up toward an area that had lots of restaurants, wide promenades and was quite busy on a warm October afternoon. The area, known as, Antigone, was really nice for a stroll. We happened upon a demonstration for a soccer player that had been injured and it was quite large, but under control.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigone_District
http://www.ultras-tifo.net/news/1145-french-ultras-with-national-demonstration.html

We ate an ok dinner at Leon’s of Brussels. Really good moules with frites.

The next day, we headed to the sea. We went Palavas-les-Flots which was a short drive from the hotel. We did not get lost! We walked about, enjoying the views of folks in a paddle board and windsurfing class practice. There were lots of folks fishing from the jetties and the fishermen had brought in a nice catch. There were so many beautiful sailboats in the marinas; it was fun just to walk around. We stopped for lunch at a little place that was packed full with locals. We ordered and the food was prepared to order. I had a tapas plate of seafood, much of which I couldn’t identify! It was really an experience - to say the least. The beaches probably weren't the nicest for swimming [lots of high rises and cement along the beach] but for our purposes, it was okay.

We headed back to the hotel and found a small little pizza shop to grab some dinner.

On Monday we headed up to Millau Viaduct to see the bridge. Driving across it was amazing! We went to the visitor center and got some great shots of the bridge.

We headed into Millau to explore and have lunch. We stopped in a small brasserie and had a nice lunch. We then walked about for a while, exploring the town. On the way out, we stopped at the renown leather shop, Maison Fabre. We drove home going UNDER the bridge, which was very interesting perspective.

http://www.maisonfabre.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millau_Viaduct

On our last full day, we went to explore more of Montpellier. We took the tram to Place de la Comédie where we walked around the entire area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_de_la_Comédie

We went to the University area [one of the oldest in Europe] and picked up sandwiches for a picnic lunch at Les Jardin des Plantes de Montpelllier. We walked along Rue Foch through their Arch - Porte du Peyrou to the aqueduct Saint Clément.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montpellier

All in all, for a stop on our itinerary that got added only because of Marriott points, I would have to say that we really enjoyed our time in Montpellier. It is definitely worth a visit.

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