A few days in Montpellier

Like the rest of the Parisians, Colin and I skipped town this week for somewhere more scenic. We’re in Montpellier, soaking up the last of summer with seafood, sun, and – hopefully one day soon – a trip to the shore. Colin’s here for an evolution conference so we aren’t totally in vacation mode, but the Mediterranean vibe is a refreshing change from Paris.

Yesterday, the first day of Colin’s conference, I set out to explore the city and accidentally saw everything on my list other than the zoo and the ocean (which are both a tram ride away). I think I might be doing vacation too efficiently??

My cross-town expedition yesterday took me:

  • Down the Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle, which is where I left Colin at his conference;
  • Across the main square, Place de la Comédie;
  • Through the winding streets of the historic city center to the Jardin des Plantes de Montpellier, which is the oldest botanical garden in France (established in 1593!);
  • Past the Cathédral Saint-Pierre, which is known for its, um, unusual gothic architecture;
  • Around the mini-Arc de Triomphe technically known as the Porte du Peyrou;
  • Down the Promenade du Peyrou to catch a glimpse of an ancient aqueduct; and
  • Back to meet Colin for dinner.

Ironically, while Colin was sitting in seminars and talking about lizards with other researchers, I discovered at least a hundred of them in the Jardin des Plantes. Unfortunately Montpellier lizards move faster than Parisians heading for the train station in August, so all of my photos are slightly blurry. The people here may be totally chill, but the lizards are decidedly not.


The best lizard shot I got. His head is blurry, which probably means he was shaking it at me and saying “Pas de photos pour vous, madame.”


Jardin des Plantes


Jardin des Plantes


Cathédrale Saint-Pierre


Porte du Peyrou


Saint-Clément Aqueduct

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