Cathédrale Saint-Pierre

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    • Day 47

      Montpellier Memento

      September 12, 2023 in France ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

      The tram in Montpellier is super easy to figure out and was a really smooth way to get to our first point of the day - down to the River Lez near the Place de l’Europe. The river was low, and the area felt like a bit of a commercial district, but there were some interesting 70s architecture. We grabbed a coffee on the river, which seemed to be a big area for flies, so it was alright, but we didn’t stay too long before walking with the hordes of university students back to the major tram stop to head back across town to an older section of the city again. Despite saying the tram was a super easy system, we somehow initially got on the wrong direction on our tram line. Though it didn't matter much as it only added another 10-15 minutes to our trip to the same location, and it was interesting to see a little more of the city this way.

      We got off the tram around the gardens area, but before heading in, we chose a well-rated, affordable lunch spot from Google Maps; stopping at a Moroccan restaurant named Cous Cous Bar. There was a kind owner who talked to us. After finding out we were from NZ, he asked if we were there for the rugby. We discussed how strict he’d heard our first COVID lockdowns were and if we liked Jacinda Ardern. We thought he knew a lot more about NZ than most we'd met. Once served the amazing Cous Cous chicken meal (with delicious broth), he asked if we had Cous Cous in NZ, and when we told him there was a lot, he was quite surprised. It was really sweet. The meal was so beautiful and flavorful, but there was a persistent wasp who would not let us eat. There were many wasps when we ate in France, and it always seemed like they targeted us, like they knew we were tourists and easy targets somehow. We ate our lunch fast both because it was delicious and to hurry away from the aggressive wasp.

      From here we walked to the Jardins des plantes de Montpellier. It was gated around the entirety of the gardens, and we unluckily walked the entire perimeter of the gardens just to find the one entrance through the gates. It wasn't too busy, and they were nice, but didn’t quite stand up to some of the amazing gardens we'd seen up until this point. So moving on, we went to the Promenade de Peyrou and a different Arc de Triomphe that was in the area. It was a humid day and calm but exposed to walk around this area. The most interesting part of the area was the Saint-Clément Aqueduct, which we learned supplied the city's many central fountains. We sat next to one the following day much further away from this spot, which was impressive to think about. Wandering through the city back towards our studio near the main train station, we came past the Montpellier Cathedral with the most beautiful medieval arched structure and scale. The front pillars felt even bigger in person than our photos. Understandably, many students were sitting outside the cathedral taking a perspective drawing class. It made me think back to when I took perspective drawing in my design studies; my equivalent subject being Silo Park.

      From the West part of central Montpellier, we walked back through the town down the high street, where I saw a very beautiful store with pretty prints and materials. We followed more of the winding alleys of Montpellier back to the studio via the supermarket again for more dinner supplies and ended the day with a relaxed dinner and a yummy fruit cheesecake pottle dessert too!
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, Cathedrale Saint-Pierre

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