Monday, October 29, 2007
In Montpellier - Day One: Pizza, shops, cocktails, dinner and snail
The day after Efiifel Tower and a dinner in a nearby pub from our hotel while watching Rugby from pub's TV, I woke up in the morning and be ready for check out from Mercure Cusset Opera. Our group was going to Montpellier that day (Saturday, 22 September 2007). Andrew already hold our TGV ticket to Montpellier.

TGV train

Montpellier is located in South France, about 600 km from Paris. Using TGV train, we only need around 3 hours and 30 minutes. It's because TGV is a super fast train with a speed up to 320 km/hour. Montpellier has this mild winter climate and in the summer it's lots of sun, no wonder I felt so comfortable the moment I stepped down from TGV train in the Montpellier station.

There are only around 230,000 people living in Montpellier. Most of those are pensioners. The language in this part of France are French and Spanish. I guess it's because Montpellier is close to Spain.

There are lots of nice cars in Montpellier and expensive yachts around the La Grande Motte port. Our group was staying in Mercure La Grande Motte. The hotel seem had been going a great renovation. All of carpets are new and the room so clean and big. Everyone in our group got a room with a balcony and great views, La Grande Motte port and the vast blue sea.

La Grande Motte port, view from my room's balcony. Beautiful, isn't it?

We were checking in and then quickly get out from the hotel to find a place for lunch. The choice was a pizza restaurant. There were lot of shops around the port. I was walking around and found out that most of the clothes and goods are made in Morrocco or Spain. It was nice, though and those clothes are cheap and made from strong textiles.

That day, I was feeling relaxed because our group was not in hurry to go here and there like in Paris. That night, our group were drinking cocktails. Kate ordered a drink called "Big Lover" and it's a massive cocktail with ice cream sorbet inside. It was nice and big. I ordered a chocolate and milk-based cocktail. Afterward, we headed into Le Petit Jardin to enjoy seafood. It was a massive seafood platter, but I felt that I didn't want to eat too much, si I ordered an entree scallop with balsamic vinegar and salad then close it with a creme vanilla as a dessert. The baguettes are free and flowing continuosly when our basket were empty, so it was more than enough for me.

The cocktails

The seafood platter for two, notice those snails?

The creme vanilla

It was fine, I didn't eat any snail on the seafood platter, not until Anna saw me holding the snail and I was playing with it. She shouted to me to try it. Andrew handed a snail to Danesh and asked him to fork the snail meat out from the shell for me. I couldn't make any reason and decided to try it anyway. It was not bad, only there was a small shell inside so that I had to pulled it out. The snail meat was a bit though and tasteless. The taste was not as bad as I was imagined.

The snail meat that Paul ate, mine was smaller than this one.

That night, Kate and Julie decided to go out for a nightclub and drink all night. Both of them asked me again and again to go out with them, but as an Asian woman who grew up with Eastern culture, Catholic values and a promise to my Mama to always keep take care of myself, I decided to reject their offers. Moreover, I didn't like to drink a lot of alcohol and I don't like beer's smell. I headed back to the hotel and sleep, it was 11 pm anyway.

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