Motorcycle Trip: Lyon To Montpellier

After waking up in what can only be described as a jumble of pillowy soft clouds, I managed to tear myself away and get ready for the next leg of our trip: Lyon to Montpellier.

I actually managed to get ready in no time at all, which is surprising considering that I hate both early mornings and packing, but that morning was different because I was actually excited to leave Lyon. Which sounds terrible given how much I adored the place, but I wasn’t happy for the ‘leaving’ part, I was happy for the ‘where we get to go next’ part.

There were two reasons that I was excited about going to Montpellier.
The first was because that’s where I was planning on trying aligot.
And the second was because that’s where I was planning on trying aligot.

Basically my travels revolve around food…
Which I’m sure surprises no one.

To rewind just a little, back in January an ‘Insider’ video was doing the rounds on Facebook. It featured an incredibly large pot filled with hot, melty cheese and described itself as somewhere in the middle of cheese fondue and mashed potato. It was utterly mesmerising and I made it my mission to get my hands on some in 2017 because, yano, everyone needs an annual resolution and what could be more resolution-worthy than epically cheesy mash? So my resolution it was, and Montpellier?
Montpellier was the target destination to resolve it.

We arrived in Montpellier around 4, and in typically European fashion, nowhere was open for food. Luckily we had booked a hotel and after a swift check in we took the opportunity to take a much needed nap. Three hours on a motorbike definitely makes you tired! After a suitable rest and a shower we were refreshed and ready to make the most of being in the sunshine in ordinary people clothes, and not full motorbike gear, so we strolled down to the river.

The remnants of a wakeboarding competition were strewn across the riversides, which a shame as it looked as though it would have made for an interesting event. We stopped for a cola (for me, beer for S) before wandering into the city centre, being sure to take the extra long way around to maximise exposure to dogs take in the scenery as we went.

After chilling by the fountains and being confused by two women who had only tanned their fronts (I kid you not, it was worse than Ross on *that* episode of Friends) we resumed our casual stroll before I noticed that S’ eyes bulged bigger than my belly post-foodbaby. Turns out that there, in front of us, was his ultimate Haagan Daaz flavour; Speculoos and Caramel. S has been obsessed with this flavour since our expat days but unfortunately he has struggled to find it in the UK (We have since found 1x tiny pot in a multipack at TESCO but our search for full size continues!) which meant that it had been years since he had, had it. Unfortunately there are no pictures because he dove in there quicker than I could say “two spoons please” but he was happy and that’s all that mattered.

As we strolled through the masses of people it was apparent that the mid-day lull was officially over.

And so we decided to haul-ass, which meant that it wasn’t long before we were outside The Aveyronnais.

S chose the restaurant and I couldn’t tell you a thing about it other than that the words ‘Aligot’ were written on the menu. Unfortunately we were still a touch to early for their 7pm opening time so we meandered through the streets until we found (yet another) fountain and perched our rears on it as we watched the sun go down.

Deliveroo and Uber Eat-esque bicycles waited patiently outside shopfronts and protestors campaigning to welcome refugees with love and not hate, posted letters through a nearby government building. It was a fountain with plenty happening around it and it reminded me how nice it is to sit back and observe sometimes. It’s so easy to get caught up in every day life that sometimes we forget that the hundreds of people that we pass by each day, each have a hundred different stories. Eventually the sun went down and a well timed grumble from my stomach reminded us that the restaurant would be open now.

We walked up to the restaurant and as we were a few metres away I realised that it wasn’t quite 7pm, so we decided to do a couple of laps of the square so that we didn’t look like total keeno’s.
It’s a hard life when you’re hungry and eager!

Luckily the staff were lovely and we were welcomed with smiles. I almost had a little panic when I realised that the aligot came with sausage, because I *really* didn’t want sausage, but luckily I was able to have it with steak. I say luckily, but it was my second steak in three days. I didn’t actually want to order steak, but I couldn’t make out a single thing on the menu (why didn’t I listen and learn French in school?) and I was too hungry to feel adventurous and play menu roulette.

We managed to get a wonky table but with my sheer disregard for material objects, it was soon solved with a napkin and the strap of my rucksack, and it wasn’t long before the food came out.

Steak for me with béarnaise sauce, and a burger for S.

Who was flabbergasted when it turned up with no aligot on the side.
Turns out his aligot was *in* the burger, but sensing how keen he was for his own bowl of cheesy goodness, the lovely waiter quickly organised an extra side dish.

Which I would like you all to appreciate for a few seconds.

Isn’t it marvellous?

I literally couldn’t take my eyes off of it.
And that wasn’t *just* because I had already twirled my fork 13395735 times and it was STILL bloody stringy.

It was thick, it was cheesy and it was delicious.
Potatoes are pretty much my favourite thing ever (all bout dat carb life) and the consistency of Aligot was kind of like Smash. If Smash was fancy schmancy and tasted like cheesy potato and not powder. It was exactly what I had hoped it would be, and was almost worth the hours of numb-ass I endured to get it.

Why yes I did post that picture twice.
I mean look at it.
How could it not be appreciated more than once!

Turns out S probably shouldn’t have puppy-dog eyed the waiter for more, because my word was it filling. I like to joke that I have two stomachs because I always have room for pudding, but this? This took up my second stomach and then some.

After enjoying a few more drinks I felt that ever familiar feeling setting in.
You know the one; where your eyelids grow increasingly heavier with every blink and the feeling of utter content spreads through you the moment you smile. I’m pretty sure it’s known as a food coma, but all I know is that if I didn’t start moving quickly I was going to curl up on the floor and take a little nap, socially acceptable behaviour be damned.

We strolled back to the hotel the long way around, and by that I mean we weren’t entirely sure where we going, so we just let my excitement of overly large doors guide us.

The doors soon turned into more fountains and before long we walking through the park

Stopping at every statue like the adult children we are

Eventually we made it back to the hotel just before our eyes closed for the last time that day…
Full of cheese.
And ready for a new adventure… But more on that next time!

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Do you ever plan trips around food? If so where did you go and what did you eat?
Let me know in the comments!

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