Friday, January 28, 2011

Places In Montpellier That We Like

Place De La Comedie - A beautiful area in historic Montpellier where the tram stops!  The tram picks us up about two blocks from our house, we ride for 10 minutes and get off at La Comedie - Wa lah!! We are in the middle of a lot of young/old/middle aged people who are there to shop, relax, have coffee/beer/wine/food (there is a McD's too :( ).  It is a great spot to "people watch" and hang out.  The Opera house is there as well as the Office De Tourisma (tourism office).  On Thurs/Fri/Sat. there is an open market where people sell leather purses, clothes, hats/berets, food, flowers, sweaters etc....  Today, as we walked through the center of La Comedie, a gentleman playing the accordian was accompanied by a singer while folks enjoyed a mid-afternoon snack or beverage.  The sun was shining and the temp was about 58 degrees - a wonderful and relaxing time with my boys (Emma stayed home to read a book on the terrace!). We walked up through the old historic area to a bookstore that we had visited one of our first days here and enjoyed some browsing time. We also explored little alleyways which contained numerous little shops, bars, beauty salons etc... - there is truly something in every little nook and cranny!  I found the link to a youtube video that someone took so you can see where we are hanging these days - the buffer was a little slow but you'll get the idea.  Enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9PSsqpf37A

The Odysseum: A HUGE outdoor shopping mall at the end of our Tram line (line 1).  The big grocery store called Geant is also there so we have walked to our tram stop with our many recycle bags, hopped on the tram, loaded up on groceries and other various necessities and then returned home, several times already.  The Centre Commercial (shopping mall) is designed to be very modern and really IS very modern and open - very chic and cool.  Emma has gone by herself one time and she and Adam went alone on Wednesday just to look around and see what they could find.  Andy and I are very comfortable with letting them go since they just hop on and off of the tram - no way to get lost! (only in daylight hours though!)  The link I've included had the best pictures to give the best idea but I think it's from a company affiliated with the construction/architecture of the area.
http://www.archello.com/en/project/shopping-centre-odysseum

Montpellier itself is very interesting.  The city is soooo old and yet, many of the people here (25%) are under 25 yrs. old! There are two tram lines right now and a third is in the construction phase.  When the tram lines were constructed, the rails were built into the pavement of the street, so when walking around the city, you are able to walk right across the rails as if they weren't there (unless of course, the Tram itself is coming around the corner!) The buildings are old, the people are new and the mix is fantastic. This link will give you a good overview of the area itself and probably includes both places above :)  Enjoy this too!
http://www.ot-montpellier.fr/en/
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Montpellier#4.

Just a little peak into our new, temporary world!  OH - YEA - I just got a phone call confirming that I will officially be taking French lessons - In France!  Wa hoooo!  We are also working on getting the kids into a school and made good progress with that today as well!

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