September 20, 2013

Two cities, 1 day

One of the quiet little roads I pedaled over. It's much flatter here than the earlier part of my trip.

Today I rode from Nimes to Montpellier, and dawdled along the way, watching grapes being harvested, taking photos, eating lunch. Also, leaving one major city and arriving in another offers me many chances to get lost, even though I had good directions on both ends. As it turned out, I didn't get lost, but in Nimes I was uncertain whether I was in the right place, so I retraced my route until I knew where I was and rode it again. When I ended up in the same confusing, but correct, spot, I realized that I had made a note about exactly where I was ... next to the major highway, but not on it. Stupid me.

The smell of wine was in the air before saw this large operation. And once I stopped, the sound of bottles could be heard. Their sign reminds us of 2700 years of wine making in the neighborhood.

The sign makes sure we under stand that for 2700 years wine has been made in this village.

Lunch was at Velorelay, in Sommières. Is it a bike shop, with rentals? Is it a cafe with great sandwiches and beer made right in town? Yes, and yes. Gerry Patterson wrote about it in this post shortly after they opened a few months ago, and how could I miss it? It made a nice stop to meet Sandra and Jean-Michel, who, with their 10-year-old son, moved here from California not too long ago. What's more my sandwich was delicious.

Sandra and Jean-Michel at VeloRay cafe in Sommieres where I enjoyed lunch.

Pic St. Loup dominates the plain north of Montpellier.

Pic St. Loup, north of Montpellier. I'm told the wine of that region is good.

When I arrived in Montpellier, my lack of confidence led me to abandon the route and go to the Tourist Office to get a city map. Checking with the tourist office in cities is always a good idea, but I had been in the right place, only the road name had changed, which I didn't anticipate. That cost me more time.

This retracking isn't necessarily a bad thing, though in both cases today it was unnecessary. Lost in old cities, like tangles in yarn, get harder and harder to undo the longer they have been in the making. But I mention it because it was 5:00 before I was cleaned up and on the street investigating Montpellier. Here are a few pictures. Since I leave on a train in the morning, I suppose I will just have to return one day to do the city justice.

The first picture is for the only person I know who lives with trees like this around his neighborhood.

Palm trees ... it is Mediterranean.

Arc de Triomphe, Montpellier

One of the squares near my restaurant. Though I was late arriving to really see the city, I was early for dinner.  

The old city at night

View Nimes to Montpellier in a larger map


  1. We missed the cycling cafe in Sommieres but enjoyed a quick tour round the old town which is amazing.

    1. Then, in the great balance of the world things evened out, because I missed the old town.


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