Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Enjoying France and the nearby region

We have arrived in France!

Upon arrival, we settled into our rooms and took a quick tour of the city center. Montpellier is extremely vibrant with lots of people, cafés, street musicians, and shops. Our hotel is very close to the main train station as well as the downtown, so it is a perfect location. We had a wonderful dinner out, hosted by our main contact at the local university here, Corinne.

Sunday, we were all free in the morning and students paired up to explore the city. We found a flea market, a farmer's market, and beautiful city parks. The weather was nice, and only got better. At 1:00 p.m., we were greeted by a local student named Manon, and with her, we boarded a bus and headed to the Mediterranean city of Sete. Sete is about a half hour away and is beautiful and picturesque. We drove to the highest point, and took photos. Then, went down to the sea where we picnicked on the canal and walked to the main ocean wall. It was a beautiful day with lots of walking. Dinner was at a local café with all of us together.

Monday was an early day and a 2-hour trip to the PROMES lab at Perpignan, France. The researchers and professors greeted us warmly and we spent the time there visiting student research projects and hearing about the lab's research in both solar PV and thermal projects. http://www.promes.cnrs.fr

The afternoon was spent with our tour guide Xavier at Carcassonne, a medieval walled city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was fascinating, and a great way to spend the afternoon!