After sitting in the worst traffic ever on the way to Montpellier from Cassis, we were glad to finally be in Montpellier for some family time with P’s brother, C, and C’s girlfriend, L, who have been living in the city for years. As much as I love P, it was also nice to be able to converse with other people for a bit. For a couple of days, P and I immersed in all things French by way of hanging out with French locals.
The next morning C, L, P, and I biked to Palavas-les-Flots, a little beach town about half an hour by car outside of Montpellier. We first made a stop to visit the FISE festival (Festival International des Sports Extremes) that happened to be in town that week. The area was crowded with fans, and the competitors were practicing their tricks on the various platforms and pikes.
We then headed towards Palavas, biking along the scenic trails and making a few stops along the way to see the stork nest and admire the flamingos in the lagoon.
When we finally reached the town, our stomachs were growling after the hour bike ride, and we were ready for some food. So, after a quick visit to the village chapel, we found a cozy outdoors tapas restaurant with various French finger food and drinks. It was so nice to just relax, eat, and catch up.
Then, it was off to the beach! We walked along the water, played with some baby sand crabs, and laid out under the wonderful blazing sun. After about an hour, we headed back to Montpellier sun dazed and refreshed.
BBQ Francais in Pic Saint Loup
P and I have never had a French BBQ before, so when L and C invited us to join them and their good friends in the countryside for a BBQ, we were thrilled. Their friends lived near Pic Saint Loup, an up and coming wine region with beautiful vineyards, mountains, and views. We drove half an hour to the countryside and approached a beautiful French style country home with a beautiful garden and a view of the village chateau in the distance.
P and I got a quick tour of the area with vineyards, poppy and wheat fields, and a natural lake while the sun was setting. It’s a little slice of paradise. The region is great for climbing, hiking, swimming, and biking and is free of the overwhelming tourists. It really is a true French countryside.
The French BBQ consisted of grilled sausages and fresh rosemary pork chops, sliced in-season melon, a fresh tomato salad with homemade balsamic dressing, and of course, a French baguette. We had the meal with some red wine from the region and finished off the dinner with L’s homemade chocolate mousse. Delicious! Everything was so wonderfully set up. Effortlessly beautiful. So French!