Nimes – A Roman Anniversary

Nimes is nothing like Barcelona but is just as wonderful in a completely different way.

We had checked into our Ibis hotel for two nights to allow a full day of exploration, food and wine on the second day.

The first afternoon, howwever, was spent finding out just how fabulous the Roman buildings that define the town are. We spernt a happy couple of hours wandering around the jaw-dropping Arena which is smaller than the Colosseum in Rome but much better preserved. James, having now seen both, declared the Nimes Arena far better.

We even got to go inside the arena itself and play gladiators for a few moments!

Next stop was the Maison Caree, a Roman temple right in the heart of the town. Norman Foster has built a museum of art right next to it but we tried to edit that monstrosity out! Sorry Norman…..

It was getting late by now and we had hurriedly booked a restaurant for our anniversary meal that morning. It had good reviews on Trip Advisor but apart from that it was a complete leap of faith. We leapt into safe hands – The Bird was a gorgeous little bistro run by two lovely women who served up the tastiest, freshest food you could hope for. Even the decor was interesting – although James really, really didn´t want his photo taking! A three course meal washed down with a bottle of Chablis helped celebrate 7 years of marriage very nicely.

Stomachs satisfied we wandered back to the station for our taxi. If Nimes was lovely in the day it was even more beautiful at night……

The following day was spent exploring the Museum of Roman history, climbing the steep hill up to the ramparts and investigating the Roman gardens within which is the Temple of Diana – which apparently has nothing to do with Diana but was dedicated to the worship of the Emporer. History is a strange thing.

To think all of this is over 2,000 years old…..breath-taking.

A day spent wandering around Nimes is a day well spent in our book.

We had one more site to see before leaving Nimes, the Pont to Gard – part of a 50km long Roman aqueduct. It´s a 30 minute drive from Nimes itself so we left it to the next day and popped by as we were heading off to the next adventure.

We loved our time in this beautiful Roman town. It´s never optimal to spent nights in budget hotels rather than our comfortable and trusty steed but a bit of warmth on waking up was definitely welcomed for a short time. As we jumped back into Henry and started up the engine we still did our usual grin to each other….good to be home….

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