Monday, February 28, 2011
Medieval Center and Musee Fabres
Yesterday, we wandered the medieval allys of the historic center of Montepellier. The Place Canourgue is an important square in this part of the city, and there are narrow streets branching off in all directions from where we are staying. I keep expecting to get lost, but one always comes out someplace familiar because it is a fairly small area. The painted facade (look closely) is directly across from the steps up to St. Anne's, a church near us. We were really looking for one of the restaurants recommended by previous guests, which we found, but the church and the area around it were fascinating.
In the afternoon, we visited the impressive art museum, Fabre, which houses a large collection of mostly French art from the Renaissance through the 21st century. They have a big collection of contemporary paintings by Soulange, if you'd like to look him up. They are big black minimalist textured canvases and some from the sixties that are large black shapes filling white canvases. The museum is newly re-done and well worth a visit. It fronts on the Esplanade across from the Corum, one of two opera houses in this small city.
I set up a still-life of our beautiful fruit in the antique limestone sink in our kitchen. I'd love to get my hands on the kitchen, and I'm sure our owners will be remodling it sometime in the future. It could be a real show place, but on the otherhand, I wouldn't want the headache or the expense. This is truly an old building, and re-plumbing and re-wiring must be a nightmare. Next, I'll take pictures of the gorgeous master bath which has been luxuriously modernized.
Tonight we are eating in a restaurant about two blocks down the hill - Bistro l'Alco - which our host recommends. I actually made reservations in French with the young woman on the front as she spoke no English. If I just "take a chance" and use the little I have, it works pretty well. I'm sure I sound funny, but at least I am understood. A few more weeks. . . .