France or Italy?

France. Lisa you’re in France. I have to keep reminding myself where I am. I know that seems silly but with the heavy Roman influence in the south, I’m forever thinking I’m in Italy. And yesterday was a day of heavy Roman influence as we visited the Pont Du Gard and the town of Nimes.

PONT DU GARD
“What did the Romans ever do for us?”
“Well there’s the aqueducts…”

Mum and Dad had fun quoting Monty Python as we walked towards the spectacular Pont Du Gard. Built in 50AD the structure still stands tall today as it stretches 320m over the river and is part of a 50km long aqueduct that runs into the town of Nimes.

My lack of engineering skills left me staring at this bridge in awe! How on earth did the Romans build this!? And for it to still be standing strong today. It simply amazes me. Pont Du Gard has definitely been one of the highlights of the trip so far.

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ARENA OF NIMES
Think of the Colosseum, but smaller! The Arena of Nimes was just a taste of what I’ll be seeing in Rome, but as the best preserved Arena from the Roman times I was incredibly impressed. The Arena is so well persevered that to this day they still hold concerts in it. One of which was the night before our visit! So as we watched the men pack up the stage, it made it challenging to transport yourself away from modern days. Lucky the audio guides provided detailed stories of the animal and gladiator fights that I was able to use them to guide my imagination (even if I had to close my eyes!)

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TOUR MAGNE
The reported 20minute walk up the hill to Tour Magne soon extended as we walked through beautiful gardens, fountains and more old ruins. The smell of summer was in the air and everyone was out in the parks for birthday parties and games of Bocce (obviously a very popular pass time in France as we see it played everywhere!).

The Tour Magne is one of the remaining towers from the wall which once outlined the city of Nimes. As we stepped inside I sighed, looked up and realised that once again we were climbing stairs. I swear everyday is leg day on this holiday! Thousands of stairs everywhere we go but at least it’s keeping us fit. Plus the workout was worth it for the view.

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MAISON CARRÉE
After quick use of the toilet finder app (seriously – get it! It’s saving me everyday), we headed into our final destination. One of the best preserved temples of the Roman Empire, the Maison Carrée played a 30 minute film on the history of Nimes. A great way to tie in everything we had seen and done that day.

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So in summary all I can say is: “Those Romans hey? What a bunch!” I can’t wait to learn more of their history when I visit Italy in weeks to come.

Lisa Jane.


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