Thursday, April 9, 2009

Figuring it out one step at a time - Europe Tour 4.0

As the old saying goes..."No Pain, No Gain". Waking up this morning was quite painful since we only got about 5 hours of sleep, but the train ride was quite memorable. For most of the journey, we followed the coastline with amazing views of the water. We also went through gorgeous countryside with fields and cottages just like those you see in movies. Despite my battle with extreme fatigue, I stayed awake for most of the 4 hour ride, except the last hour when my eyelids simply got too heavy to hold up. My slumber didn't last long though, James quickly woke me up to point out a castle we were passing by.

We arrived in Montpellier, France knowing very little about the city and unsure whether we should stay there or connect to Nice. James had his heart set on seeing Nice. We waited in quite a long line to speak with a ticket agent and see what our options were. We completely lucked out and got a very patient lady who helped us for probably 30 minutes even though there was a long line behind us. We struggled for a while with the options (not to mention my pitifully broken French, sigh) and, just when James was about to reach maximum frustration, a very nice couple who spoke good English came up and offered their opinion on what we should do. And to think the French get such a bad rap for being snobs. With every one's help we decided to stay in Montpellier for the next 3 days and will head to Paris on the TGV late Sunday night on an incredible 45 euro deal.

Since we didn't know what city we were going to end up in, this of course meant we had no hotel plans. No problem though, we're becoming pros at this. We found a nice room at the Hotel D'Aragon (definitely over our budget) and splurged for the night. The shower made it all worthwhile though - water came from three vertical spouts on both sides of the wall plus an overhead waterfall spout (don't quote me on the technical names!). We freshened up quickly and were able to get a good walk in - this place has the most gorgeous tulips I've ever seen - before grabbing some Italian for dinner then hitting the hay shortly after.

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