France is on the move

We were warned about the vacation season in France, and today we saw it in full swing. The autoroutes were packed today, but we were grateful they were much more packed going the other direction.

We took yesterday off and had a lovely pool day in the suburbs of Montpellier.  We were right next to the most amazing mall, which even featured an Ikea store.  To make amends, this morning we took the tram into the city and strolled around the center.

Montpellier is one of the few large cities in France without any Roman heritage and also one of the few cities in southern France without a Greek foundation.The city became a possession of the Kings of Aragon in 1204, under whom Montpellier became a very important city, a major economic center and the primary center for the spice trade in France. It was the second or third most important city of France at that time, with some 40,000 inhabitants before the Black Death. It was sold to the French king Philip IV in 1349.

We toured a bit of the old city, sat at a cafe awhile, and then trammed back to our hotel.

And then it was time to hit the road. Not our standard fare, but like lots of French people, it was easiest to dine at the sign of McDonald, which is amazing like its American counterpart. Good times and a fast lunch.

We then headed for our home for the next week, a gîte in the Luberon region of Provence. This place, with an olive grove and vineyard, and a fabulous pool, will be our little slice of heaven for seven days….

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