On Tuesday we headed down south on a last minute trip and stopped on our way in Nîmes.

The city is about halfway from our place in the Alpes to my aunt & uncle’s house down south. Nîmes has history that goes well back to the Roman era – with some significant physical reminders of those times.  The enormous aqueduct Pont du Gard (which we visited on our first trip down south 2 years ago)  was part of the system that brought fresh running water to the indoor plumbing systems of this city about 2000 years ago.

The amphitheater is apparently one of the best preserved in the Roman world. While not the same size as the colosseum in Rome – it is impressively intact for what its been through over the past 2 millennia   

The arena first served obviously as entertainment for the Roman citizens and their guests (the ‘circus’ part of ‘bread and circus’), and over the following centuries was used as a fortress, a miniature walled city, then was then turned back into an arena in Napoleon’s time – and is now most well know for its bull-fights.

how NOT to win a bull-fight

The city also has an amazing Roman temple, again one of the best preserved in the Roman world  (I guess Nîmes is like the pickle of antiquity).  Susan and I visited Nîmes years ago, and I remember the inside of the temple – it was rather baren compared to its previous glory – but impressive none the less.  Now the entire inside is a movie theatre that plays a 3D MOVIE!  Unfortunately – the day we were there due to technical difficulties the movie was shown in 2D.  When you see in 2D a movie that was specifically shot for a tourist board in 3D – you realize how much of the footage is pointless waving / pointing / thrusting / and otherwise moving-at-your-face-motion of various forms.  When it’s in 2D – it just seems like your watching scenes that they forgot to edit down and then add in the sound, dialoge, and tie them to the rest of the plot.

However, it was quite warm (34°) to be walking around when we were there at noon – so the movie was a bit of a nice respite from the heat.

It was a nice break on the way down and is basically just off the autoroute – pretty amazing that we get to experience these kinds of things during an unplanned stop along a drive.


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