Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nîmes: 30x30 Outfit 6

Dress: Victoria's Secret / Blouse: J Crew final sale / Shoes: Privo / Watch: Skagen / Bracelet: J Crew Factory clearance

Bienvenue à Nîmes, a city full of ancient Roman wonders. We stayed pretty close to centre-ville*, on the top floor of a tiny hotel that was one pile of stacked rooms. That's our window at the tippy tip top. Once we maneuvered our car through the tiny, windy streets { Europe was very clearly not designed with the automobile in mind. No wonder they love smart cars...} we unloaded then moved our car to the garage by the town cathedral.

Very few hotels in Europe have elevators or AC, so that was fun. From our hotel, we could walk to all of the major sites, so we woke bright and early, grabbed a delicious apricot pastry and fresh juice from a pâtisserie, and headed to the Roman amphitheater arena. Which I just realized we never photographed from the outside! You really need to see it from the outside to get the awe-factor, so you can look here instead. First the brooches, now this. I'm definitely going to have to plan another Europe trip. In fact, we should just move there ;) We did, however, get plenty of shots from the inside:

The amphitheater is from the 1st century AD and is the 2nd largest Roman arena { 2nd to the one in Rome } and best preserved in the world.  Gladiator battles and Roman games took place here back then, and today it's used for concerts, shows, and annual bull fights {of which I am not a fan...} They have a very good audio guide that's included in the entry fee to tell you all about the rich history of this ancient city. Wow, I feel like one of Rick Steve's minions. Wouldn't that be fun? Get paid for touring the world? I'm clearly in the wrong profession.

We next headed over to La Maison Carré, a small but well-preserved Roman temple built in 19 BC. Inside the temple they show a short 3-D film on the history of Nîmes.

Then we walked to the Jardins de la Fontaine, which are gardens built around the ruins of an ancient Roman thermae, or public bath from the springs found here.

The photos up top are also from the garden. While taking them, we realized our hotel parking pass was almost up, so we had to go move our car. The Husband decided to take a nod from the Europeans, skip the pay parking, and park European style on the sidewalk of this tiny street just by the gardens...

...which led us to the Tour Magne, or Great Tower. It is the only watch tower still standing that was part of the ancient wall that Julius Caesar Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, had built around Nîmes. 

The tower offers a spectacular view of the city, and was used to monitor the Via Domitia, the first road that connected Italy to Spain and an important route for the Roman empire.

While looking below us from the top, we found something far more pleasant than any invading Goths, or Huns, or Franks. We found a wedding party! I was fascinated, and the Husband came to my rescue, pretending to take shots of the tower while sneaking photos of the wedding party. I'm pretty sure they noticed. Oh, bonjour! I promise we're not stalkers. Just American gawkers, snapping photos of every bit of quaintness we cross.

But seriously, how darling is this elegant French bride and her family with their lovely fascinators? Love, love, love. I just love weddings. But somehow they seem even more lovely when in France!

On our way back to the car, we also passed a gladiator re-enactment. Check out these guys. They speak French, too :) This one's for you, friends sans mate.

We left Nîmes and headed about 15 miles away to the Pont du Gard. This marvelous Roman aqueduct bridge, the tallest in the world, merits it's own post, so stay tuned for Part Deux of Outfit 6!

P.S. As we traveled through France, I kept watch for a rue Cerisier, completely forgetting to type it into the GPS. Happenstance was not with us and we never came cross one, but now I've found that Nimes has a rue du Cerisier just a few blocks from where we parked to visit the gardens! Quel dommage*!  Anyhow, it turns out that the Frenchies like to have that of before Cherrytree when naming their streets. I could find rue du Cerisier and rue des Cerisiers (plural) but not simply rue Cerisier. Which strikes me as odd because they don't put the of before people names for streets like rue Jean d'Arc. Oh well, rue du Cerisier it is.

P.P.S. Have you ever seen a dog like this? That lady was not short, people.

Neither had I till I visited Nîmes!
*centre-ville = town center; Quel dommage = What a pity!


Anonymous said...

Darling, you look absolutely smashing. Your post may have lost some photos.

Stef / Diversions said...

You look gorgeous :)

Siouxzy said...

The top picture is my very favorite.

Rachel Emma (Daydream Frenzy) said...

You look stunning! I love the European scenery you're showing us! I'm starting my own 30x30 challenge next week, I hope I can do as well as you're doing! keep it up!


Cassi said...

Thank you, ladies! And thanks Danielle- it's all fixed!

Jaime said...

Cass, the pictures in this post are A-Mazing! I agree, the first is my fav!


Ahh, this is amazing!! What a beautiful spot, and architecture. I'm envious of your fabulous travels. ;-) And your dress & blouse are just delightful -loving the layered look! Enjoy the vacay. xx veronika

YvonnaLivianna said...

beautiful shots! Stacy and Clinton would love this. I am also a huge fan of theirs, primarily Stacy.
Really amazing!


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