Hello all the way from a town in France called Montpellier! Happy Easter to everyone :)
We arrived at Cape Town International Airport at 15h00 on Saturday and boarded our flight to Johannesburg shortly afterwards. A rather awful and unpleasant flight to Johannesburg, at least it was just shy of 2 hours only. We then rushed to get onto our flight to Paris, the times were incredibly close. I believe that the only thing that kept me sane was a few minutes in the various SLOW lounges where I could take a moment to relax, splash my face and have a nibble in peace. The flight to Paris was something else. The longest I’ve been on a flight for is about 3 hours and this was 10 hours! I didn’t manage to sleep much at all, dozed a lot, but there are continual interruptions. Nevertheless, the flight wasn’t awful and the time actually went fairly quickly. Before we knew it, we were in Paris and boy oh boy was that an experience – the airport, Charles de Gaulle, is nothing special and it’s quite tricky to navigate yourself around when you don’t speak a word of French, but the people were friendly and we found our way to a cafe to get some nibbles and then off to the next gate for our flight to Montpellier (as seen in map below). The flight to Montpellier wasn’t the best, the pressure was making my ears feel like they were going to burst, but it only took an hour and before we knew it we had landed and were ready to get the show on the road. Grabbing a taxi to our hotel was a piece of cake.
Seriously though, 28 Euro’s for a taxi for a 5 minute drive and 5 Euro for a coke o.O – Gota watch yourself here when you’re operating off Rands! The public transport here is absolutely incredible, I honestly didn’t understand what people were trying to tell me, hop on, hop off, destination reached! The ticketing system is awesome, it just takes you a bit of time to understand the different tram lines.
We had a wonderful dinner in the center of Montpellier, which is truly beautiful. The tall buildings built with architectural perfection are something that you can only really understand and experience in person. I’ve seen photographs, heck, I’ve looked on Google Maps, but it just doesn’t do them justice. I stood outside the restaurant in the middle of town, puffing on my cigarette (which is ever so accepted in France) and just admired the true beauty. People have been really friendly, we’re yet to experience someone frowning upon us for speaking English. Although, with that being said, we try our best to add a bit of an accent and throw out the odd, “Je ne parle pas français” or “Parlez-vous anglais” and these little phrases clearly earn you some respect. It’s funny walking into a cafe and saying, “We have drinks here? Yes”? Haha! Or, “Chocolat Crepe one please” ;)
I’m going to try and post as often as possible for all of you who want to follow or just enjoy seeing what France looks like. I’m armed with my iPhone 5 at the moment, but I should be able to get another point and shoot camera shortly, which will produce better photographs. Or, I’ll be a professional and chuck some Instagram filters over them :P
Here’s a quick batch:
I’m having the time of my life, I truly didn’t understand how incredible this was going to be!
Heading off to lunch shortly with some friends and then I need to do some admin and prepare my slide deck for tomorrow’s workshop.
I’ll post again soon, but otherwise you can follow me here for updates: