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Published: September 17th 2017
Geo: 43.8346, 4.36086
This was a long and eventful day. Je suis tres fatigue, so this will be an abbreviated entry for the time being.
We got up and went out in search of food and to give Lucy a glimpse of Avignon before setting off. I had pan au chocolate, she had brioche. Everyone was happy. On the way back we looked around a Carmelite cloister that was built around the 14th century, I believe. We grabbed our stuff and headed to Pont du Gard, long considered one of the wonders of the Ancient World. It is the largest of Rome's aquaducts and quite a show piece. It's in amazing condition and spans the river Gard. It's a very friendly attraction. There are hiking trails and we saw people swimming and kayaking nearby in the river.
From Pont du Gard we headed on to Nimes, the former Roman city that the aquaduct was built to service. Here the Romans left behind, among other things, one of the most intact coliseums in the world (La Arenes) and a temple that is also in exceptional condition, Maison Carree, which was modeled after the Temple of Apollo in Rome and dedicated to two of Augustus' grandsons.
Across from the temple is an art museum that was modeled loosely in its form on the temple. Wandering around nearby we found some interesting fountains lined up in a row, some of which actually held water. We also finally found lunch, which was good before we were starving. Part of lunch was a raspberry tart that was so good that I didn't even bother to have gelato today. Unbelievably good. Having admired several churches and the temple, we moved down the street to the Coliseum where we took a lengthy audio tour which described the evolution of gladiator contests from the first century through the 7th. Today the venue is home to bull fighting.
The last sight we thought we could see for the day was the Jardin de la Fontaine. It is fed by a spring that provides quite a lot of water, but not quite enough for a whole city. There are Roman pools, some temple ruins, gardens and statuary. Since it was a beautiful day the place was busy with lots of French folk enjoying the open space, but because the garden is so large, exists on several levels and has many twists and turns, almost everyone
View from the top of the Coliseum
Ranked as 9th "most significant" amphitheaters discovered in Gaul. Of those, this is considered the best preserved of the Roman ones. This information is according to one of David Letterman's writers who was a classic's scholar. No, sorry, it was in the Michelin guide.
could find quiet of privacy if they wanted it. We just wanted not to be near the teenagers playing Michael Jackson on their radio.
Despite our fatigue, we walked up to the top of Mount Cavalier which is part of the garden to Tour Magne, a tower that was once part of the city walls and was also built by Augustus. Having viewed many views, we opted not to pay to climb up the tower steps.
We wended our way home, both pretty tired and maybe a little cranky. I pressed for a quick and cheap dinner at a close-by pizza place near the university. I'm not sure of its name, but it is at the corner of Rue de la Carreterie and Rue du la Tour. The place only serves pizza and salad. All of the pizzas have Egyptian names. The half-pizza/salad/coffee combo is 5 euro and quite a deal. The pizza was excellent although it only had 2 olives on it. The salad had a dijon vinaigrette and a little round of bread topped with chevre and fig confit. Lovely. The owners don't speak English, but were very pleasant. Since there is only pizza on the menu, there is little
need for conversation.
Lucy has been unable to get her wifi to work, so she has gone to the cyber cafe down the street. I don't have the card reader for my Nikon, so my pictures are temporarily limited to snaps from my pocket Canon. Bon Soir.
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