March 3, 2004

Hello and an early Happy St. Patty's Day to ya! I'm still working on backlogged photos so that's what this page will consist of too. I do have some new ones on the way after these, and maybe it will be easier for me to keep up with posting them then. It sometimes takes a little while for news to accumulate around here so I'll just go straight to the photos. We had some cold weather return like a lot of you in the States but I hope spring is on it's way soon for all of us!

 

 

 

Nîmes (nEEm). We went here one day for a ................................ picnic, right! The amphitheatre here is roman and dates from the late 1st or early 2nd century. It is still used for bullfights just like the one in Arles.

 

 

In case you're wondering, I'm going to let someone else explain this better than I could <g>


"The architectural element that embodied this new command
of urban space for mass assembly and mass movement was
a special Roman contribution. To this feature the Romans
gave a name peculiarly apt in its reflection of their own
character and practices: the vomitorium
['vomitoire' in French]. 'Vomitorium'
stands for two things in the Latin lexicon: privately, it was a special room,
adjoining the dining hall, where gluttonous eaters who
had swilled too much rich and exotic food might throw
up the contents of their stomach in order to return to
their couches empty enough to enjoy the pleasures of still
more food. Publically, the business of providing for the hasty
emptying out of food was symbolically transferred
to the great openings and passages in an amphitheater
through which the sated crowds could make a reasonably
quick exit without trampling on each other."

Those silly Romans!

 

See Jonathan there? He is standing on the steps of the Maison Carrée (square house) in Nîmes. It was part of a group of buildings called the Forum ... the administrative center of roman life. Maison Carrée was built in honour of Caius Cesar, who was the grandson and adopted son of Augustus, in 5 AD.
It is the best preserved roman building in Nîmes and some accounts say, in all of France. This can partly be explained by the fact that it has always been used throughout the centuries: Consular meeting room in the Middle Ages, a stable, church, archive center, now a museum ...

 

 

A very pretty fountain on the way to our ........ picnic, right!

 

 

Jonathan pouring olive oil on our pebre d'ail cheese in this beautiful park. The "cheese guy" told us to pour olive oil on this herbed cheese about an hour before you eat it for best taste. We often ask locals (at the boulangerie or on the street!) where is a good place to have a picnic. That's how we found this great park. There is a canal just beyond the railing.

 

 

Leftover KFC (not Provençal), Provençal olives, leftover red cabbage with apples, bread, pebre d'ail cheese and of course, french wine. Oh yeah.

 

 

This is a reflection of trees in the water we saw as we walked back to the car. Doesn't it look like a painting?! Jonathan wants to paint this and some of the other reflections we saw.


 

Yes, all good things must come to an end and often times cost money. Here is Jonathan paying for our parking before going to our car in the parking garage. You have 15 minutes to leave after paying at this machine. You have to insert your validated ticket in the machine at the exit and the arm will go up allowing you to exit. Most of the time we have to pay 3 to 4 euros... about 4 to 5 dollars. Convenient and free parking is something I always took forgranted before moving to France!

 

 

Heading for the car. Boo-hoo. Another day of fun and freedom has come to an end. But ... there's always tomorrow <g>

 

There's more....