I would reccommend that you just walk around the city taking photographs. It does not have to be an expensive city (although it can be) and there is plenty to see and do for free. Parks to sit and trees over the benches to keep you cool, dogs to talk to, people to watch and lots to explore. I would take you to the Place de la Comedie where there is always something going on of interest. You can take your bottle of water and a sandwich and sit on the steps of the Theatre and watch the world go by.
Fondest memory: I miss the warmth and safety of Montpellier. The sheer freedom of being able to walk around a city at night and not be scared or frightened of people. I love the festival atmosphere of the place, the street musicians, the street theatre and the many small streets and interesting shops.
Montpellier has 80,000 students and is the location of many conferences.
It is worthwhile checking the conference sites, as they give good info in English.
The International European Conference on Computing and Philosophy (ECAP) 2008 takes place in June. No idea whazt it is about, but their website has loads of travel info : http://www.lirmm.fr/ecap08/accommodation.php !
Favorite thing: Life in Montpellier is centred around Place La Comedie, a large open-spaced square in the town centre. It is mostly pedestrianized, though the tram does pass through it. Most of Montpellier's shopping areas, restaurants and cafes are found on the square or on the many streets branching out from it.
I knew we were going to see Flamingoes while we were around Montpellier, but I couldn't have imagined that they would be in marshland right beside the highway! (at and around Palavas Les Flots). There was a side gravel road at the edge of the marshy ponds where we could park the car and get out to have a closer look.
Our friends told us that the Flamingoes diet is prawns, which assists in their pink colour.
These Trompe d'oeil (trick of the eye) murals are among my very favorite memories of our afternoon walk of Montpellier, and even better as we just came across them, not having known they were there.
On the last two, there's even a reflection painted on the painted window of the building.
The village of Bouzigues is on the bank of Etang de Thau.
It is the capital of the Oyster. Here the oyster is classified AAA that means it the best quality.
The mayor wants to transform the oysters parks in Marina to attract the tourists. It is a pity.
Go to the mainsquare 'Place la Comedie' of this city. Here you will find the beauty of this city that lays in the south of France near the 'Cote Azur'.
Fondest memory: Sitting at the statue on the shiny square in the heart of Montpellier.
Just walk around and sit down wherever you like. In one of the parks. This one in named Esplanade and is the prolongation of the big Place de Commerce with the Town Theater, (Comédie).
Fondest memory: The evenings and nights of free theater, music and dance during the summer season. Look at my other Montpellier page in my general France Travelouge
go to Sete and climb on the Mount Saint Clair. The photo was shot from Notre Dame de la Salette.
Fondest memory: From the Mont Saint Clair you discover a marvellous view on the sea and on the narrow strip of land which separate the Etang (Pond) of Thau from the Mediterranea.
The white spots in the horizon are the oyster parks which make the reputation of the pond. The best oysters come from Bouzigue.
SEE THE TRAVELOGUE TO KNOW MORE
go to the Saintes Maries de la Mer (département of Bouches du Rhone).
Fondest memory: According to the tradition, two saint women went on the shore of the sea to settle the city of Saintes Maries de la Mer. They were named Marie Jacobé and Marie Salomé (no link with Sister Act and Woopy Golberg). Their statues are in the church (SEE THE TRAVELOGUE).
But the town is mainly known because of sainte Sara who is the patroness of gypsies who make a pilgrimage yearly to prey the Black Virgin.
(MORE IN THE TRAVELOGUE)
go to Aigues Mortes which is in the neighbor departement of Gard.
Fondest memory: The city was settled by Louis 9° (the Saint) as a basis on the Mediterranea to go to the crusade. So he made built the rampart and its main defence : the Constance Tower.
SEE MORE ON THE TRAVELOGUE
Montpellier is a city that combines the old and the new gracefully.
Full of universities and students and close to the beach, it is also home to the oldest remaining botanical garden and the first medicine school (Montpellier was built in the 13th century).
The old city centre -L'Ecusson- is exclusively pedestrian and the new city centre is attached to it with its modern interpretation of ancient greek architecture. The effect can be unsettling but when you get used to it you can only love it!
Fondest memory: My first year in Montpellier, I arrived for the school year in september.
This was the beginnig of autumn which was already pretty cold for me. Trees without leaves lining the streets made me feel that everything was dying.
I was very homesick and fortunately, I was part of an association of tahitian students or I might have made use of my open ticket earlier than planned...
Christmas was the worst and I remember staying home for fear that I would miss my family's calls.
At least the holidays meant I didn't have to go out in that horrible cold! Plus the association was planning a big new year's eve party with ersatz tahitian food and real tahitian music so there were things to look forward to.
On the 31st, I was cutting out stars and moons as this was a costume party when my phone started ringing off the hook. It was snowing and had I seen it?!
Actually I hadn't as I was so busy, but that was the end of scissors and cardboard.
My friend and I went outside to play in the snow and I made a big ball which I kept in my freezer.
Our other tahitian friends were apparently trying to bodyboard down 0,1° slopes!
I had only seen snow once or twice before in NZ and never falling from the sky so I was very wide eyed!
That night, the streets were white and glowing yellow and blue under the lights, the sky was blacker than usual and a hush seemed to have descended onto the whole town except for occasional laughs and screams.
The party was great and I kept that ball of snow in my freezer for the whole year (which enabled me to buy healthier food as I didn't have much space left!) as I reminder of the night that I fell in love with my new home, however temporary.
Favorite thing: See Carcassonne (accessible by bus or train from Montpellier), one of the largest medieval walled towns left in Europe. While it's very touristy, it's also very evocative. Don't miss St.-Guilhem-le-Desert, a charming, out-of-the-way little medieval village. Part of its cloister is now in New York City, and some French have never forgiven the U.S. ...
I had a wonderful time studying at the Université de Paul Valéry in a program called CIF (Cours Intensif de Français) Actually it was a little bit of studying and alot of FUN FUN FUN!
Our dorms were a 10 minute bus ride from Centre Ville, so if you were out late partying in town and missed the last bus, you were screwed.
Check out the wonderful outdoor cafes ! Make sure not to miss the 'Place de la Comédie'
This is the large 'square' in front of the Opera. The center of life in Montpellier. Here, you can sit out on the square and have an apéritif, a meal, or just a coffee, at almost an time of the day or night and just watch the world go by.
Fondest memory: Just a great place.. the people were fantiastic