Friday, 16 July 2010

Viva la France

The up-side to our night in the Train Station Waiting Room was the warm, balmy weather and I can tell you the 06-03 service to Nimes didn't arrive a moment too soon. A great way to start your birthday, we celebrated with a couple of cups of coffee and a croissant. Even here the hotels aren't exactly short on clientele, but the good news is we do have a couple of rooms!

Most of the morning was spent trying to master the French Internet and get ourselves a hire car for 5 days starting tomorrow, but it hasn't been easy. Eventually, we had to give up and walk to the Eoropcar office, only just across the road, but the 'on site' booking proved to be nearly twice that on-line. Provisionally booking it, we returned to the hotel and lap-top and with a little more patience finally got the booking.

This was followed by a walk around the town, but by now the sun was high and sweltering hot - nothing seems to be falling into place.

However, the first of the 2 town's churches looked impressive enough peeking over the high trees,

while the monument to the French Revolution was also eye-catching.

The most impressive feature of the town was undoubtedly

the Roman Amphitheater, latterly used as a bull-ring

distinguished by this fine bronze Matador, but we are pleased to announce that this barbaric practice no longer functions!

To the side of this were a number of Government Buildings

but th back of the almost complete rotunda was equally worth a photograph.

Justify FullWe didn't get the name of either church, but this one looked the biggest and finest so considered it the 'parish church',

while a few paces around the corner we found what must have been, in days of old, the town's water supply?

We both agreed it could have done with a few Carp to cheer up the otherwise lifeless water, but there was a Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly on hand, plus a further c2 that remained unidentified.

There were however a couple of birds to add to the extremely short list which now stands at:-

House Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Common Swift plus this Mallard and Ruddy Shelduck.

There were a number of other tributes to a by-gone age, with this statue of Hadrian,

and what was left of that period was sympathetically complimented by Romanesque features,

including this balustrade and terracing,

climbing gently to a large wooded area beyond.

In the streets the men played 'boules',

keeping the ancient and national game alive.

Andy on the other hand, found this original 1972, water cooled Suzuki of far more interest and when the owner arrived, jokingly offering the key that was the 2 of them in conversation for a good few minutes.

Good luck continued to evade us as at about 16-00 we both felt we could do justice to a decent steak and bottle of Claret. As it happens 15-00 to 19-00 is Chef's siesta time in all of the restaurants and taverns, so we had to make do with salad (rabbit food), bread and a couple of pints of French (and very good we have to say) beer, and retired at 19-30.

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