Day 6: I think an axe murderer just came out of that doorway.

Montpellier Travel Blog

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Shepherd!!!
The next morning, we were on the bus and to the TGV station. I chose to wear shorts and a t-shirt that day, not knowing what the weather was like in Paris that day. I later found myself freezing cold and huddled underneath someone else's umbrella in the rain. Needless to say, I was happy once we got inside the train station. It wasn't long until we were off on a four-hour train ride to the south of France. We were staying in a very small town not far from Montpellier in the Pyréneés mountains.
AGH!! IT'S JULIA!!!


The train ride was rather uneventful. I slept for the first two hours or so, and then suddenly awoke and found myself unable to see. Luckily, one girl had some contact solution. After I spent a few moments trying to peel my contact from my eye, I was able to rinse it off and see once again.

From the train station, we had about an hour of free time to get food and wander around. Unfortunately, it was very warm (thank goodness for my shorts), so we got some sandwiches and went back onto the bus, which was called "Julia" (apparently a bus company in Spain, since the website was .es). Ironically, that is the name of the wonderful calculus teacher at my school (please note the sarcasm.)

Everyone was sleeping for most of the ride, except we stopped at a gas station with an hour of driving left and got a bunch of chocolate.
The car was smiling at us.
A few of us also got some baguettes and had an epic battle on a hill. No one left unscathed.

On the bus ride, we suddenly realized how pretty the area was. We drove through twisting and winding hills in green mountains in order to get to the hotel. There were old bridges from Roman times (nerds to the max!) and tons of European-style houses and buildings, which was very exciting for us Arizona kids. We were all talking loudly and taking lots of pictures the entire time.

When we finally got to the hotel, I'm amazed that we didn't all pee our pants right there. The hotel was right by a river, and there was a sign saying ducks were by the river!! We love ducks!!!!

Our group had been reserved the entire third floor of the hotel, consisting of only a few rooms that could be reached only by going out onto the balcony, except for our room, which had its very own balcony.
Hallway of DOOM!
Once we were settled, we had free time to wander around as we pleased.

Apparently, the hotel didn't get tourists very often, and young people even less often.

Pour souls...

Two girls and I decided to take the stairs instead of the tiny and incredibly slow elevator. We stopped on the second floor and looked up and down the hallway. To the left was a completely pitch dark hallway, and to the right was a hall filled with more rooms. We continued down, but halfway down the stairs, we found a random doorway that was painted the same color as the stairwell walls. Intrigued, we opened the door. It immediately went into a short, thin hallway, coming out into a corridor leading to more rooms. It was very dimly lit, giving it the feel of something out of a horror film. We were thoroughly convinced that a serial killer would come out at any moment (I was waiting for Anthony Hopkins to appear and rip my face off).
The thing over-looking the ghetto ravine.


At the very end of the hall, a person suddenly came out of a doorway. Due to the fact that we had worked ourselves up, and it started us, we bolted it out of there. One girl, for some reason, decided it would be smart to go back up, even though our overall goal was to reach the hotel lobby. We followed back to the second floor. A person came out of the right half of the hall, so we ran left into the completely dark one. Someone had the sense to hit the light switch, and rather forboding flourescent lights came one. Somehow, we ended up back in the lobby, panting and out of breath. Our tour guide gave us a look that said, "What the--no, I don't even want to know."

We met up with a few others, and then we were off! We walked down by the river and looked at the ducks, giving them all names and creating epic stories about them, mostly their love lives.
Our hotel!!
I felt bad for the female duck. When we were going back up from the river, I tripped on a rock and screamed, "FUCK" at the top of my lungs, igniting laughter from the adults sitting nearby.

After a quick exploration of the area around the hotel, we began walking down the lane (ha, a lane, not a street!). We passed by mostly empty fields. And I say fields, only because I can't think of any other word for them. They were mostly small areas of grass about one hundred or so feet long, but that isn't a very eloquent description.

Further down, we saw a man walking with a bunch of goats and sheep and several sheep dogs herding the animals. Then we realized he was a shepherd! He was awesome. He was even wearing a brown robe like guys in the movies! And he had a stick!

Even though I'm in AP Spanish, I took it upon myself to wave and yell, "Bonjour!" The man waved back and said something in French.
River!!
I said the only thing I knew. "Je ne parl pas Frances. I don't speak French."

He laughed, and the other French students I was with managed to communicate a few words. I held up my camera and said, "Sil vous plait," which I hoped meant "please." And then I made clicking noises. He nodded and posed for us! It was amazing!

We went back up the opposite way down the lake and found a very exciting smiling car. Then we came upon a brick archway covered in vines that overlooked the creek and a sort of ravine (except rather ghetto compared to the other ones we saw) that we could walk through. We sat and talked for a while before heading back to dinner.

Apparently, I'm the Chosen One. At our dinner table, one girl suddenly noticed a piece of fishing line sitting on the table.
A random castle on a hill. I still think we should've hiked up to it.
Two of the other girls had one, but I didn't. We decided that I didn't get one because I was supposed to save us all from the evil (the other ones had been marked with the fishing line). My teacher said that the French had put it in my food, and that it was going to get tangled up in my intestines and kill me.

After dinner (which I survived, shockingly), it was dark, so we weren't allowed out by ourselves. Our teacher took us down to the local brasserie. As it was a small town, most everything was closed, except for a few places. After one girl and I tried and failed to polka dance, we ordered some red wine and sat around drinking and talking for a while. The bartender and his fellows (or whatever they're called) were very excited to have tourists around, so they came and tried to talk to us, but I had no idea what they were saying.
The view from our balcony. Be jealous.


After trying several drinks, we went on back to the hotel. A few kids had gotten a rather tipsy (they had vodka, need I say more?), so it was rather interesting to watch them run around, or at least try. One girl informed me that she loved me no less than eleven times before kissing me on the cheek and running away (and into a tree). Someone flashed a camera, and I screamed loudly, since it startled me. Apparently, that was very amusing (I don't see what was so funny). Then a bug flew at me, and I screamed again.

We got back to the hotel, and I was stuck with the duty of keeping my roommate from dying. She takes sleeping pills, had just chugged some vodka, not long after drinking a drink with the alcohol in it only twenty minutes before that. Every few moments I would peek my head out of the bathroom to make sure she hadn't died.
Bridge!!!


What happens when we get back on Julia, and I go off to try (and fail) to speak Spanish? How will we come to terms with the weather? Did you know that beer has a higher alcohol level in Spain? Oh, the joys of being drunk...
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Shepherd!!!
Shepherd!!!
AGH!! ITS JULIA!!!
AGH!! IT'S JULIA!!!
The car was smiling at us.
The car was smiling at us.
Hallway of DOOM!
Hallway of DOOM!
The thing over-looking the ghetto …
The thing over-looking the ghetto…
Our hotel!!
Our hotel!!
River!!
River!!
A random castle on a hill. I still…
A random castle on a hill. I stil…
The view from our balcony. Be jeal…
The view from our balcony. Be jea…
Bridge!!!
Bridge!!!
Montpellier
photo by: Marina2710