May 16, 2014 – Arles, Nimes and the Pont du Gard

We have a lot to accomplish today and we are out of the apartment by 9:30 AM. Our first stop will be Arles to see the Roman theater and amphitheater and maybe Van Gogh’s little yellow house.

Arles is kind of a big city with lots of industry, really not what we were expecting at all. We find a great parking space right next to the amphitheater and make our way in. The amphitheater is impressive from the outside but not so much on the inside. There are a lot of bleachers set up which hide the original structure. The original structure itself has been renovated and reconstructed over time. We read that there are bullfights in the arena as well as other modern activities. Today some school kids are learning history first hand.

The amphitheater in Arles
The amphitheater in Arles

The teens look fairly bored by the costumed Roman
The teens look fairly bored by the costumed Roman

The middle schoolers are much more into it
The middle schoolers are much more into it

We peek through the gates of the Roman theater in Arles. It is not nearly as complete as the one in Orange so we decide to keep our 13 euros and move on to our next destination.

Is it possible to get lost with a GPS? We are caught in a rabbit warren of tiny streets trying to get out to where Jack, our GPS, says “Proceed to the highlighted route.” We try to follow his original route but he keeps wanting to take us down a road that is shut off by bollards. No matter what, he wants us to turn around and go to the bollarded road. So we keep pushing on and the streets are getting smaller and smaller. At one point John has to make three maneuvers just to get around a corner.
Sometimes we wish we had a smaller car.

Chevy Orlando and John
Chevy Orlando and John

Finally we break free and are on our way to Nimes. Once there and parked we have no idea where we are. We decide to eat lunch and ask the waiter where the Roman ampitheater is. Oh, only about 200 meters away in the only direction we haven’t looked. This is a big structure. Hard to miss.
Roman amphitheater in Nimes
Roman amphitheater in Nimes

Inside it is much like the one in Arles. It’s been refitted for modern events. Here, though, instead of school kids on field trips, there is a large Trojan horse.
Trojan Horse
Trojan Horse

One more sight to see is the Maison Carre or square house. It is a very intact Roman temple. Originally dedicated to the Princes of Rome, the emperor family cult, today it is another site for field trips.
Maison Carre
Maison Carre

John and I have been tired all day and now it is around 3 PM and we need to make the decision, Pont du Gard or go back to the apartment? Pont du Gard wins. Having seen the amazing aqueduct at Segovia, Spain, I want to see this one. It is a magnificent three tiered structure. There is a short movie about it and many other activities that one could do on the site. We look at the aqueduct and take a short walk on it.
Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard

1000 year old olive tree near the Pont du Gard
1000 year old olive tree near the Pont du Gard
John  and the Pont
John and the Pont
View of the aqueduct from the adjoining road
View of the aqueduct from the adjoining road

Last thing on the list for today? Stop at the grocery store to buy the ingredients for tonight’s dinner. We make penne with a cacciatore sauce. And now I think I’ll go to bed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s