Thursday, April 21, 2011

dingy hotel, french police, yikes

On Tuesday we zipped to Spain - major bust. Our hotel was an incredibly dingy, toeing the scummy line, hotel apartment nearly on the beach in Costa Brava, Spain. The lobby was beautiful - great places to sit, on chocolate brown couches... the room however left much MUCH to be desired. And it wasn't exactly cheap either. On top, it was freezing on the beach, so no sun bathing! So we thought it'd be a great day for Andrew to get his homework done (and me to do a bunch of reading!) so we began our hunt for McDonald's - the only place we've seen with wifi. Nearly two hours later, with a false address from a McDonald's billboard, we did not arrive. The hope of their soft serve ice cream with espresso over top -Spain's McDonald's specialty- kept us going! So extremely frustrated, we went back to dumpville-hotel for the evening.
This is all so sad, because the parts of Spain I've been to were awesome! Historic, beautiful, and right on the sea. Costa Brava was not the optimal choice.

Wednesday, we decided to start afresh with a new attitude...and get the heck back to France. Our first main stop was in Montpellier - hands down the coolest town we've been to..and we're nearly ready to move there. We started out with a picnic in Jardins de Plantes de Montpellier - the botanical gardens! Then popped into the University of Montpellier - one of the oldest in the world, started in 1160. They have a medical museum and a surgical theater - but they were closed! :( Then off to one of the main squares for coffee in the CUTEST coffee shop. After our relaxing coffee, we hopped in the car, heading toward our destination for the night Hotel de Graffre, an old farm turned hotel.

photos from the botanical gardens

cute coffee shop - Cafe Latitude

As we drove through the city, we started to hear sirens. We finally figured out they were coming from behind us, so we did our best to make way as the police motorcycles flew by, stopping traffic in the intersection ahead of us, waving their arms frantically at us, or at least in our direction, so we thought we were supposed to go ahead and get out of the way... WRONG. Next thing we knew there was banging on the back of the car, we thought a police car hit us, but it was a police man, in a car, banging on our back end. I looked out my window to see a man with a black skull cap, black ski goggles, and a black AK47 pointed at us, shaking his head and making scary, mean gestures with his hand. Pause story to change my soiled underwear. I was literally looking down the barrel. Obviously we froze - I almost handed him my purse, thought he might actually be a robber, in police clothing... and they were gone. Poor Andrew couldn't hold down the clutch his knee was shaking so bad. It was nuts. NUTS.

Thankfully, just outside the city was peace. Wild horses, oodles of flamingos, marshy area. We arrived at our hotel so pleased to have a comfortable place to rest and be. We even have a little patio, where I'm sitting now. Last night, we went into Nimes. We ate at a local brewery, saw a huge Roman arena that's still in use, and Jardins de Fontaine - a huge fountain garden from the 18th century. Lining the garden walkways, buckeyes were flowering, which made it absolutely the best time of year to be there and so beautiful!

1 comment:

Lizzie said...

What the heck was that police man doing?! Seriously, that's not right! And so stinky about Spain! Glad you decided to scoot along to other things. Other than almost getting blown to bits by the French police and having a scuzzy time in Spain, your trip still sounds marvelous!