Our original plan yesterday was to get ourselves close enough to Nîmes to be able to tour its attractions today. However, we jeopardized that plan out the window when we spent an hour photographing fishermen and flamingoes, and then through it out the window when we decided to go swimming in the very cold Mediterranean.
Our journey first took us to La Grand Motte . This city was built in the 60s and looks like it should be inhabited by the Jetsons. Strange buildings.
After La Grande Motte, we started heading inland again, although it took a while before we were truly inland. The land close to the ocean is quite marshy, and must have been fairly impassible, because we passed some fortifications that gated the road we took north.
We passed the Perrier bottling plant as well. You’d think that it would be pictureque, nestled in some mountains or something, but no, it looked very industrial. We photographed it in front of a pond just to make it a little bit more photogenic, but I gather the aquifier containing the water is underground. One unique thing about Perrier is that their water is naturally carbonated: it’s in a pressurized chamber underground. The gas is lost when the water is pumped out, but they capture it and replace it while bottling.
We got to Nîmes in the daylight. Two nights in a row stopping for dark, perhaps that’s a new record! So far the only thing we’ve seen has been the Roman arena. It’s the 20th largest of 70 that they built, but it is the best preserved because it has been in continuous use since it was built. The Visigoth’s used it for fortification (after bricking up many of the windows and entrances), and a shantytown was built inside during the 18th century. We’ll probably get some better pictures of it tomorrow; we’re planning on doing the Michelin Guide Vert walking tour before getting on the bicycles and heading for the Pont du Gard. Nîmes also possesses the best preserved Roman temple, the Maison Carré, which I’m looking forward to visiting.
Now I’m off to supper to check out the restaurant that our hotel proprietor recommended. We had a light lunch and originally headed out around 6, but this is France, and the restaurant may not even be open yet! Thus this blog is being written before supper instead of after.