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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Nîmes

I Continue From Here 

Backpacking France & Spain: Day 5 (10-Dec-2017)

Les Romains

What excites me the most about a travel is the journey itself. To be on the road again is just so thrilling that I want to keep continuing even if the roads do not lead to a specific destination. At 7:00 AM, I walked to the railway station and printed my train tickets at the machine in the station. While waiting for my train, I had a croissant and a cup of coffee. 

I was very excited about my trip to Nîmes as I had read about the the roman ruins here. I took a early morning train from Avignon. It was a quick ride of less than an hour. Nîmes invited me with a very pleasant atmosphere. It was cold and drizzling. With wide boulevards with trees and buildings on either side, this small town looked really pretty. 


On the other end of the railway station is a park and the fountain Pradier is one of the most magnificent art work I have seen thus far on this trip. 



The church - Église Sainte Perpétue was very impressive. 




An other impressive church - Eglise Saint Baudile was also preparing for its Sunday mass. 


Along the way, I passed through some roman ruins and a statue dedicated to King Augustus. 


At Cathédrale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Castor de Nîmes, the Sunday mass was almost about to begin. So, I stayed there and watched it for a while. The bishop accompanied by kids marched towards the Altair, prayers were sung, experts from the Bible were read and the Bishop gave his sermon. I liked the sermon which spoke about how man should continue to evolve himself. I listened for a while and then considering the time, decided to leave early. 

I stopped by the Vieux Nîmes musée that has a free entry and contains a display of the clothes that this town is famous for. It was from here that the clothes were shipped to the US and had labels that read - De Nîmes (From Nîmes) which went on to become Denim. There were other paintings and art work in display. 

I took a walk along the market- Les Halles where all types of food was being sold. I bought some cheese - Comté and Camembert. I also tried some tasty Flans. Comté is extremely delicious and irresistible.


The roman temple (Maison Carrée) is very impressive. It has undergone some restoration but most of it remained intact and has survived the test of times. 




The most impressive was the Arène - The Roman amphitheater. The audio guided tour that I  took here carried me away on a vicarious journey to the times of the gladiators. I could almost imagine the crowd roar and cheer them. But it is also sad to imagine such a game that involved human life and a crowd that enjoyed viewing the trauma on another human. I wonder how the wise ones who opposed it reacted to it. 





Just outside the arena, there was a group of bike riders paying their tribute to the French singer Johnny Hallyday who had passed away on the 5th of December. 

The entire city is so beautiful that every street, every park looked so perfect and beautiful.




I walked to the impressive Les Jardins de la Fontaine. The park that surrounds this fountain is beautiful and is no less than a piece of art by itself. Several sculptures adorned this park filled with trees whose leaves had dried away. 





There is a temple of Goddess Diana here in ruins.



Also up the hill is an ancient roman tower - La tour Magne. 



On my way back, I stopped at a small shop run by Mathilde. The shop was filled with some interesting eatables. I tasted a few pâte à tartiner (Spreads) and bought two of them. I also bought a bottle of Baba - Soft cake dipped in alcohol and lemon syrup. A pack of chocolates also fell into my cart. The shop owner (Probably Mathilde herself) requested me to try all of them before purchasing and they were all just yummy. A lady who was there to shop told me how the spreads were so irresistible that she had put on weight. We chatted a little with the owner in French and some English.


I walked back to the station. At a café just outside the station, I had another coffee shot. Back in the hostel at Avignon, I sat sketching the fountain Pradier. I completed it in a go. 


At the hostel, I spoke to an investment banker from England. His name is Ajay too. His parents are of Indian origin. But, he had not traveled to India yet. We spoke a bit about our travels. He was on a few days break from work. 

I must say that Nîmes will always remain one of my most favourite towns in France. It is simply picture perfect and the people are very friendly there. I love how each town here brings its own uniqueness in either the form of cuisine or art.

Continued Here 

2 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! What a lot of history and fascinating architecture!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This place has you said looks picture perfect. It must have been an awesome experience to explore this historical town.

    ReplyDelete

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