Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Montpellier and surrounding village

After spending over 8 days in Le Mans, yes, 8 awesome days unlike what every other french thinks. Booked a blablacar ride from Le Mans to Montpellier, a journey that cost me 56€ and took over 8 hours. Travelled with a young driver and her sister, as well as another guy with a cute dog. The problem is, nobody speaks english

Anyway, the ride wasn’t that bad apart from some traffic halfway, and some crazy driving when we reach the city. It might be a misunderstanding happening during the ride when the driver didnt drop me in a town before (Gignac-where its nearer to Lisa’s house). She drop all of us in Montpellier city and took us to the main station. Lisa couldnt be here so we set a meeting point with her friend in Place de la Comedie and went to her house while waiting for Lisa. It tooks over 30 minutes to get from Gignac to Montpellier.


It was great to see Lisa again after so long. We met in New Zealand, my housemate, roommates and she visited me in Malaysia couple of months ago. Cant believe I’m here now in her hometown! Her parents is very accommodating and nice but i felt bad couldnt speak French with them. Sort of a Google translator and hand sign thats makes communication possible. I've also met Claire, who was in Penang for 2 months. Really happy to see her again in France!

                                                                 St Guilhem le Desert

Ive stayed a total of 10 days in Montpellier, well, Aniane to be exact and visited quite a number of towns, villages, tourist sites and viewpoints around. We went to Pont Du Diable and St Guilhem-le-Desert on the first day, and I’m really surprised how beautiful this place is and to top it off, its one of the few Unesco site in the world! Wow! Never in my expectation that i would visit a Unesco site.

    A view from Pont Du Diable - The Devil's Bridge

    Cave of Clamouse - La Gotte de Clamouse near St Guilhem le Desert. Entrance fee: 9.80€

Her parents also took me to couple of places such as Lake Salagor, Larzac Knights Templar and Hospitaller circuit, in a village called La Couvertoirade, even up a very high hill of Montpeyroux to see the whole Languedoc region. Breathtaking view!

   Lake Salagor

    One of the oldest oven here, still producing great breads!

            Ancient fire hydrants

    One of the houses in La Couvertoirade


Her mom is such a great cook and was once owned a restaurant nearby. Had a feast in her house for the whole 10 days. Octopus in tomato sauce, confit de canard, desserts, bread and cheese and lots of good wine! Her dad also have a very nice garden that produces a lot of vegetables and fruits daily!


Lisa also took me to a Sete, a very nice town by the sea (it’s my first sea view since I’m arrived in Europe). Took us 1 hour to get here but worth the drive for sure! If you stay in Montpellier, it’s much nearer to get to Sete and i highly recommend that! Love the view and the city. She knows i love seafood and this is one of a good place to have a feast. Had an awesome entree and main, with a bottle of wine for 55€ for both of us. Pretty reasonable but quality wise is a let down, especially on the seafood platter where the snails had muds in it and mussels with the beard intact. Not cool for a restaurants that charged this amount of money. nevertheless, i still enjoyed the feast and had a good time.


Believe it or not, i even went to a dog show to watch Lisa and her friend to present their Whippet in the National Competition in Expo site somewhere near the Montpellier’s airport.  One of the dog got a excellent cert but sadly, we didnt win any place. Strong competition as it seems like whippet is a very popular breed here. I had the chance to pet so many awesome dogs here, one of my favourite is the rough collie, bernese mountain dog and the white German Shepherd. Ive even had the chance to finally see the Irish Wolfhound, and some rare dog such as Elkhound. 

    You can tell the owners from the dog breed, or dogs from the owner?

    One of my favourite, the white GSD!

   Let just say...matching :)

Oh did i mention, the whippet found a truffle in their garden? That is such a big surprise for me as it’s always one of my dream to see, smell and eat truffle! Her friend gave it to us and we had an awesome truffle omelette for breakfast. I’ve learned that by putting truffle with eggs in a air tight container will actually flavored the eggs. Lovely breakfast with some tomatoes and mushrooms as well. That;s my kind of breakfast apart from occasional oysters :P The oysters here are pretty cheap and i could get a fresh one from supermarket for about 1€ each. During the farmers market in Aniane on Thursday morning, i managed to get 7 pcs for 4.50€! Jackpot! Oysters made my day.

Black Autumn Truffle, Tuber uncinatum

This blog post is exceptionally long as i’ve explore so much of the Languedoc region thanks to Lisa and her parents. It was a great unforgettable experience in France. 10 days past and it’s time to say goodbye as i’ve booked a cheap TGV-ICE ticket back to Kaiserslautern from Paris Gare de est for 39€ on the 4th of July.  Since my friend, Laurie is free from the 1st July, i’ve decided to stop by Bordeaux for 2 nights. To be continued...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Le Mans and the famous race!

Le Mans Le Mans, it was another bucket list checked. Oh wait.. i don't have a bucket list but the famous 24 Hours race was something i wanted to do that related to motoring, apart from driving/riding in Nurburgring one day, or a road trip in US, ah.. long list...

Anyway, i'm so happy to be in Le Mans with a very good friend of mine, Lucy and David that i met and host in Penang few months back. Met up with Lucy at Montparnasse Gare before taking a train to Versailles and hop on our Blablacar ride, my very first one. Not going to complain but the ride wasn't really that nice, such a small car, unstable on the highway and kinda stinky but oh well. It cost us 13€ from Versailes to Le Mans, which is quite cheap.

Once we reach Le Mans, we took a tram to LaFayette (it cost 1.50€ per ride, and there's only 2 lines in Le Mans, easy!). Im so glad to be in Le Mans to see David and Lucy again! Unbelievable to be here in France to see them again!

My first day in Le Mans is pretty exciting, meeting so many friends of Lucy and David, and prepared for the Parade. Such an awesome evening chilling out and drinking while watching the parades past by.

The next day was a little hard after so much drinking.. We head to the circuit at around 2pm (3pm is when the legendary race starts). There's thousands of people on the track, and barely able to find a good spot to watch and take some photos.

We stayed overnight, moving around the track, lots of walking and loud exhaust note zooming pass by us every minute literally. Amazing experience indeed! However, we ended up early, way before the race finish at 6.30am due to tiredness and cold. The energy is gone by then and what we want is our nice bed... Gladly, it wasn't hard to get out and one tram ride home.

The next few days is pretty relaxing... we had picnic by the river, appero with friends, BBQ, chilling, walk around the old town, visiting historical sites, shopping and cooking Asian food for my friends.. it was great! I had this question of " Why do you go to Le Mans? " when i told friends about it, especially French. The answers from them is always, " there's nothing there!" Well, you're wrong guys. I've spent an awesome 8 days in Le Mans, 8 DAYS and i enjoyed it.. and all because of the company and good times with friends! You guys are awesome, man. I wish i can come back to Le Mans one day without any doubts and see you guys again!