Monthly Archives: January 2014

Languedoc-Roussillon Beckons – Montpellier – June 2012

We took the Eurostar to Paris (two hours) and then the TGV to Montpellier (approx 4.5 hrs). The day we arrived (Saturday) was Gay Pride weekend, so we found a nice restaurant and had a long, leisurely lunch, whilst watching the parade as it went past us – not as spectacular as Paris Pride, but nonetheless enjoyable.

The next day we decided to go to the beach to see how long it would take to get to it. This was an interesting experience, as the directions in the guide-book were out-of-date and the new Metro-line that had been built to get you to the beach area was not mentioned at all. We managed to get as far as we could and then had to start asking for directions – interesting when one does not speak French very well! We found a young guy who spoke some English who pointed us in the right direction and we finally made it, whereby we had to take a bus to get to the actual beach area. It is several kilometres from Montpellier (approx 30-45 minutes), as there are lagoons between the land and spits of land on the actual coast. We arrived at a somewhat tired seaside town called Palavas-les-Flots, where we did actually enjoy a lovely seafood lunch, only to be interrupted every now and then by gusts of strong wind coming off the Mediterranean Sea – knocking over the umbrellas covering the tables – so we headed inside the restaurant. Due to the distance to the sea and beach we decided it was not where we wanted to live.

The beginning – 2012

We have talked about setting up a guest house for some time, having stayed at various places on our travel’s around the world over the last 12 years. We had thoughts about either Paris or Nice, but Cape Town became our focus, as we had been visiting the area pretty much each year since 2005, and staying at the Cactus House run by our friend Simon. The relaxed nature and efficiency of the guest house was very much in line with how we visualised how we would run a place ourselves. After our last visit in December 2011 we came to the realisation that as lovely as it would be to move to Cape Town and open a business, it is a long way from Phill’s mother and father, who are still very much alive. Once back in the UK, our thoughts once again turned to France, specifically the Nice, Cannes, Eze area – being close to the Mediterranean Sea and a beach were a big consideration when it came to where we wanted to end up. Whilst the Côte d’Azur is a lovely place to visit, it is also very expensive to purchase there – at the time we were looking a five bedroom home with a pool would cost at least €1.5 million. (It is also a very fur coat with matching dog and bad face lift area!)