After a night of the most crazy, psychotic dreams ever (perhaps brought on by the exceptionally rich French tapas that we had had for dinner the night before), I was brought rudely back to reality by the wake up call we had requested for 6am this morning. After what could be our last luxuriously hot shower for quite awhile, we packed up and walked to the Gare de Arles to catch the early train to Montpellier. The trains here are so convenient and reasonably priced and comfortable. Julia met us at the station and we walked to her flat for a breakfast of very decadent pastries and tea. We immediately fell into such easy conversation with Julia as if it had not been two years since we have seen her. For anyone who hasn't heard all our Camino stories ad nauseum, Julia is a young German medical student whom we met on the first part if our Le Puy Route in the Fall of 2010. We walked with her for over two weeks and became great friends. We think of ourselves as her Camino parents. Julia not only is treating us to a visit in Montpellier but is taking vacation from her medical internship in Montpellier and is going to walk with us this first week. It will be wonderful to have this time with her and the bonus is having someone to translate.
The rest of the day was a sightseeing tour through Montpellier's old city, a maze of winding, picturesque streets, visiting with Julia and her boyfriend Ricard and searching for the best price on a SIM card. We comparison shopped at four different stores, four different companies, twelve different payment options for the SIM card and learned first hand the need to have patience when shopping in France. Nothing is hurried. It took us over ninety minutes to wait for service and then purchase the SIM card.
The sunny warm weather has not materialized as forecast. It was a very wet, cold and windy day. The hot chocolate chantilly (with cream) was needed even more than it was appreciated. Surprisingly, or not, there were two McDonald's outlets in the centre square which also was much appreciated. Julia and Ricard treated us to a lovely eclectic home cooked dinner of patatas bravas, salada, and a quiche for those who eat eggs. It is interesting and impressive to listen to our German Julia and her Spanish boyfriend, Ricard, conversing in French and English. Especially impressive to me who is I the running for the dumbest language student ever.
Our plan for tomorrow is to take a tram to the outer edge of town, walking to Montarnaud where we hope to have reservations for demi-pensionne. We can only hope for sunshine.