Somewhere in the South of France

A furry orange tabby welcomes you all to the Roman antique theatre

May I not help you?

Two pigeons sit on the head of Augustus at the Antique theatre and converse

Look closely at the head of the statue for the pigeons
Pigeon 1: I’m trying to find my way to the Theatre Antique d’Orange??
Pigeon 2: Orange?? They only grow olives in these parts pal. And what is this antique theatre you speak of?
Pigeon 1: Its an old theatre stage where actors play out comedies and audience sit in the arena.
Pigeon 2: Never heard of anything nuttier.

You make your way to the Arc du triomphe constructed sometime in the First or second century AD and when you are done your driver guide asks you how it compares to the Arc du Triomphe at Paris. You splutter out the technical comparisons- oh its much smaller, built much earlier by the Romans etc only to feel like a fool when the driver says “oh! I’ve never been to Paris!”

Smaller but older

You then make your way to the Pont du Gard where part of an ancient Roman aqueduct is visible. The aqueduct used to trap water from springs at Uzes and transported it all the way to Nimes. These days the aqueduct traps tourists. And oh! they do the transportation themselves.

Tourist Trap...aaaaargh

Somewhere in Nimes, this grand structure ends in a little castellum

End of Aqueduct at Nimes

Oh by the way Nimes is actually spelt  Nîmes and calls itself ‘la ville avec un accent’ (the city with an accent- hmmm!). It has a famous Roman amphitheatre- one of those littered around South of France and Italy and Spain (and wherever else the Romans stumbled over). But to prove that the accented city is more Roman than its competitors, the denizens decided to come up with a very innovative Romanesque mosaic for …..(hold your breath)…dog poo collection. Lets hear it for the folks from the ex colony of Nemausus please!

The Nimesian mosaic

And if you felt irritated by the fact that you couldn’t climb the Tour Magne because they closed for lunch between 1 and 2pm, think about the Antique Museum at Arles that is closed on Tuesdays.

Just in case you were suffering from Roman Amphitheatre deprivation, here’s another one from Arles (bad quality picture so I can make you pay more attention!- to be read as I can’t believe my Olympus is already running out of charge after having kept it plugged in all night so I’m taking this with my Nokia.)

Another Amphitheatre?

By the way I made such a face when I found out that the Antique Museum was closed that my driver guide took pity on me and gave me a treat visit to Les Baux de Provence- a charming village with a castle nestled in the hills.

Village in the hills

And if you still aren’t blown away (and I mean literally so because of the strong Mistral wind) then you can sober yourself with a visit to the impressive Roman ruins at Glanum!

Ruins at Glanum

Ils sont fous ces romains! (These Romans are crazy!)

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5 thoughts on “Somewhere in the South of France”

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever suffered from “Roman Amphitheatre deprivation”, but I probably will now………….must make a return visit to Colloseo!

  2. Lav- The romans were awesome!!!! I mean they are still helping the local governments earn money.
    Rob- The Colliseum at Rome is awesome but don’t miss the Circus Maximus and the ruins on the Palatine hill.
    Brad- clearly proves you’ve never been to Barnsley. The Arc du Triomphe is in Darlington. Barnsley only has the Forum and there’s even a Subway there.

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