Thursday, December 24, 2015

Nîmes, France

Actual date of this event: 9 May

When planning our week in the South of France, I found a cheap flight back to London from the Nîmes airport, so it made sense to check out the city for our last few hours. We had also been given several recommendations for Nîmes from our friends Kelly and Stephen, who had visited just a few days before. Even more so than Arles, Nîmes is filled with Roman history (it can be nicknamed the French Rome). There are also many water fountains throughout the city that give it a nice Mediterranean feel, even though it isn't on the coast.

The first of the Roman sites we saw was the Amphitheatre. Similar to the one in Arles, it hosts bull fights each year, and is very well preserved. We chose not to go inside since we only had a couple of hours in Nîmes before our flight.

Next, we came across Maison Carré, the old Roman Temple. It looked extremely clean as it was restored just a few years ago - the door was very very tall. I later learned that the temple was the inspiration for the Virginia State Capitol building.

The city was pretty quiet as we walked around, but it was barely 10:30am. We passed by several churches, a few squares, and decided to sit for a coffee and juice.

We made our way to Jardin de la Fontaine where other Roman sites are located. We followed a long canal covered by trees along the way. The garden was huge, very open, fountains and water were everywhere, but by this point, we were very hot from carrying our rucksacks on our backs. We needed a shade break pretty bad, so we sat on a bench under the trees to eat our sammiches for lunch.

After a short break, we decided against walking up the hill to the other Roman Temples, and made our way back into the city center. We sat for a drink at a small tapas place before catching the 2:30pm bus to the airport. Even though we only spent about 4 hours exploring, Nîmes was a great little stop before heading off to the airport. It was very sad to say good-bye to the South of France. We had the most magical week... it felt like a second honeymoon! And it was all Luke's idea :-)

More from the South of France: IntroNiceAntibesMonacoEze VillageAvignonPope's Palace & Pont d'AvignonPont du GardBuissonSt. RemyLes BauxArles, Nîmes

Nîmes is known for its textiles, and more specifically, denim gets its name from the city - serge de Nimes in French.

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