Happy Bastille Day!

That’s right, when you spend the summer in France, you don’t commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but instead you celebrate the storming of a prison!

The time we have spent in Montpellier has been great, and there is so much to talk about so I’ll try to cut it down to just the best, starting with my classes.  I know you would never expect the words “the best” and “class” to be put into the same sentence, but here they are!  Even though its bright and early every morning, going to my grammar class is very interesting.  The professor teaches the class in a way to explain why everything is the way it is, not just that it is.  The class has instilled an interest in French grammar in me that I didn’t think could or even should exist.  My favorite part about the classes we take though is the diverse atmosphere.  I get to spend every day in class with American, Dutch, Sudanese, Italian, German, Kuwaiti, Ukrainian, and Mexican students that all add a different perspective to the learning environment.

Now onto the fun stuff!  Being in France makes for great opportunities to take trips around to various neighboring cities and countries, which we have taken full advantage of!  On our first weekend in Montpellier, we spent a day in Nîmes visiting a roman amphitheater and a 200o year old bridge called Pont du Gard.  I also left for a weekend with some friends to nearby Barcelona to take in the Gaudi sights and enjoy some delicious paella.  And this weekend we have a trip planned to Avignon to dance on its bridge (you know, from the song!) and experience the renowned Festivale d’Avignon.

I think, however, that my favorite moments have been spending time in Montpellier.  One day, two friends and I got lost looking around the city’s old quarter and turned around to see Montpellier’s version of the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de Peyrou, the highest point in the city.  It was such a beautiful day and we got to spend it sitting on a bench by the monuments and taking in the sights, all completely by accident!

That’s about it for now… Happy Bastille Day everyone!

Me at the Pont du Gard
At the top of Parc Güell in Barcelona
Place de Peyrou, the highest point in Montpellier