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 Localisation : France
 Date du message : 06/06/2006
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  dernier jour a Montpellier - Sommieres et Nimes

This morning Erick, Mary, Paul and I visited the small old town of Sommeiers, which is only about 10 minutes drive from St Christol. As usual, it took a few driving laps of the town before Erick found us a car parking space, this time on the far side of a canal which flowed near the main street: We had only to walk across the pedestrian bridge walkway at water level and through a stone archway - I love these and can never resist photographing them - and you are in the narrow streets of the old town with its shops, boutiques; cafes etc

After a visit there for 1/2 an hour or so, it was on to Nimes, where Erick dropped us off after circling the streets for a while and having no luck finding a park.

He rejoined us in a nearby park/garden about 15 mins later and we continued on through it together.

Large pools there which in ancient times used to be for Roman bathing, very roman architecture, with several other Roman structures such as Tour Magne - built in BC times - 15BC or so-  up much higher in the gardens,  up many flights of steps, past semi tropical gardens with tall narrow palm trees - very lush and green and the closest I ve seen to tropical so far in France, with water flowing and dripping into little pools from little rock grottoes just above our heads:  ......

Another Roman ruin to visit on the way back down through the gardens but it had no name on it that I could see so not sure of its age - partly destroyed but still interesting and you could see ancient - and quite a bit of modern - grafitti on the walls carved into the stone  and a bit of modern written stuff; unfortunately.

We continued on to the centre of Nimes where we had a nice lunch at a Brioche Doree patisserie boulangerie - always nice to find a toilet where you dont have to pay, or even just to find a toilet; which is always difficult for us in France compared to home where public toilets are everywhere really and always free - though not always clean or modern, I have to admit

Then on to the Maison Carré where we climbed the stairs and had a quick look, mostly at the outside, which I found disappointing as it really doesnt look like it does in the brochures, white stone - rather it is quite polluted and black and I suspect a lot of photoshop must hqve been used on it for touristique guides; Also scaffolding at the rear, but that cant be helped

We then went on to les Arenes, where we bought a 2 in 1 combination ticket  for 9€50 ea - save about 1E that way - to see Les Arenes -  the roman arena - built about 100AD, not long after the Colosseum in Rome - and also the 3D 20 minute movie/documentqry show in the Maison Carré on the way back

It was our first time at les arenes using the universal translators; which look a bit like giant mobile phones - was good to have quite a lot of info in English about something we were seeing for a change; though Paul found it too detailed and lost patience with it at times - and didnt want to follow the numbered points in order - corresponding to numbers on the translator - and afterwards it seems we may have missed some things, even though we listened to every number on the translator, as Erick thought we should have seen the Gladiator pit underneath; but we saw nothing leading us to that so not sure - and we took about 30 or 40 minutes and Erick was told the guided visit was 1 1/2 hours..... didnt seem that well numbered to us.

Back to the Maison Carré after tha to watch the 3D show;  with cleqr 3D glasses _ pretty good for all ages - were some small children in there. Most of the speaking in Italian or Roman with French subtitles on the left of the screen and English on the right; or sometimes underneath the French, so you had to look for it:

The scenery looked a lot more 3D than the people and buildings - especially fly over views of the Pont du Gard aqueduct north of Nimes, and trees and vegeation like a birds eye view; side on shots of sword fighting didnt look that impressive but when they fought front on, the sword looked like it was coming straight out at us; so rather good

Then time to visit Aigues Mortes, evidently very touristy but not too much today as we still had a fairly tranquil impression of our visit.

Paul went up the rqmpqrts of the city and the tower while I rested down below on a seat and waited for him with Erick and Mary

A short but pleasant visit and goods were very well priced there - well maybe not the 17€50 for a tin of biscuits, but things like Provencale tablecloths for 20€, material; oven mits and soaps were cheaper than Ive seen in St Christol area and Erick and Mary do their souvenir shopping here 

Animals: Saw my first flamant roses hier; magnifique; and today it was Camargue horses and villages, like les Aigues-Mortes which I liked very much with its fortified wall and tower and many artistic and souvenir shops about Provence at rather good prices.

Also saw many bulls in paddocks and beautiful white Camargue horses, some with foals which are dark brown but which turn white when adults.

Saw more beautiful flamants roses - Flamingoes - as we drove along the highway past the lowland marsh or lakelands on the way back to St Christol


Moving onward tomorrow morning: Erick and Mary will drop us off there, a village near Aubenas in the area of Montelimar where I ll meet a French penpal of 2 years of about my age who lives there with his girlfriend and dog

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Par kuiper25

le 15/06/2006 à 00:02:10

bonjour LOOL un peu déçu de ne pas avoir put venir a à lyon ..mais bon cela sera pour une prochaine fois !

j'espére que votre visite se passe bien et surtout que le soleil vous chauffe un peu

bisous à vous deux ,

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