Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Exploring Montpellier

I start my first full day in Montpellier, France, wandering through the narrow streets of the old town, stopping occasionally to admire food on display in the shop windows.  The old town is built on a hill and steps lead between different levels of the town, with restaurants and shops scattered everywhere.

 Streets of old town

 Intriguing shop windows

In the center of old town, the Halles Castellane contains an incredible food market that is packed with shops offering all  kinds of appealing delicacies.

 Halles Castellane

Outside the hall, restaurants prepare to serve meals made from the great ingredients.

 Restaurants getting ready

I continue to wander through old town, finding steeper and more narrow streets to explore, and whimsical art on the walls throughout the area.

 Continuing through old town

 Art on the walls

Exiting the old town at the northwest corner, I walk past the Jardin des Plantes, which is closed today, but still offers great views of the grounds from the sidewalk outside.  This botanical garden is one of the oldest in Europe, created by an order of Henry IV in 1593 and served as a model of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.

Jardin des Plantes

Returning to the central Place de la Comédie, I head east into modern Montpellier, the Antigone District, an area of grand neo-classical structures located between the city center and the River Lez, containing housing, public facilities (including a community Olympic pool), restaurants, and shops.

 Antigone District

On the other side of the district, the Lez flows quietly through the city to the Mediterranean, with walking/biking paths and parks along the way.

 Along the River Lez

Returning to Place de la Comédie, I track down lunch, a good looking sandwich to eat while sitting on a bench in the Jardin du Champ de Mars, just off Esplanade Charles de Gaulle and near the convention center and universities.


 On a bench in the park

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