Yesterday I left Montpellier after two weeks of French language classes. Despite being sick for the first week, I made friends with other students, mostly from Germany and the UK. Montpellier has a good deal of South-of-France charm, and more restaurants, kebab stands, cafes and tea rooms than you could possibly imagine. The town isn´t as rich in history as, say, Avignon. Its main attraction is the huge number of students. I spent most of my time there in the Centre Ville, and I would say at least 70% of the people I saw were 35 or under.
The train East to the Bay of Biscay was 6 hours long and railed past some amazing scenery. I especially liked the Pyrenees region of souther France, where the buildings perched on tree-covered hills are broken up intermittently by a castle or a medieval stone wall.
Arriving in Hendaye, France, just across the border from Spain, I met up with a friend, who grew up in San Sebastian but has lived in the States for the past 10 years. Her father has a really nice apartment on the top floor of a building that looks out over a river that leads to the Bay of Biscay, and from his rooftop terrace you can see the ships coming in and out. With another friend from Sarasota, her and I went into the center of San Sebastian for some great Basque food (I had squid in ink sauce) followed by tapas, which in the Basque region is called pintos (don´t know if I´m spelling that correctly). By midnight we were exhausted. Today we´ll take a day trip up to Biarritz, France, then back down to San Sebastian until Tuesday, when we take the train to Paris. Hopefully we´ll see Mont St. Michel. I´d like to post some pictures of San Sebastien and Montpellier, but this computer is having trouble uploading them to Photobucket, so it may have to wait.