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-   -   Beautiful Nimes (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/beautiful-nimes-1672334/)

cheska15 Jan 28th, 2020 06:47 AM

As part of the visa process we had our Medical appointment in Montpellier today. I was not particularly thrilled out being weighed on my birthday. However I have been back on the 5/2 diet for the last two weeks, and had no alcohol, bread or desserts. After very little sleep due to roadworks outside the hotel from 10.00 pm till 4.00am( they did shift us to another room) we arrived for the chest X-ray at 8.00 am. We had the results by 8.15, and then a five minute walk to the OFII Office. They called us in together at 9.00 am. Not sure they understood privacy issues. I was weighed and the Dr thought it was funny that I wanted to take my coat and boots off. She was lucky that is all I took off. I mean who weighs themselves with all their winter clothes on. As soon as we told them we were not renewing our visa, life became a lot simpler. Questions were, did we have Australian health insurance, have we had vaccinations, we can have a simple blood test if we want ( no thanks) and here is your form and don’t give the original to anybody. It was also explained the visa sticker in our passport is now valid, no other sticker required and we were out by 9.20 am. So glad that is over. No charge.I feel now we can really relax. Each department does medicals differently.

A point about health insurance. I was under the impression that once you have been here for 3 months that you could apply to join the French system and get rid of your Aussie health insurance. This applies to all third country nationals. They are Aussies, NZ, Canadians, and Americans and more. She said no you must have Aussie health for the first year. Not sure if it will be different in other departments

As we we’re finished so early we came back to Nimes to celebrate my birthday and have lunch at our favourite restaurant. Always fabulous food, and we had a shared entree of eggplant, then veal with mushrooms, and some type of thinly sliced meat, served with pasta and salad, then the wonderful cafe gourmand. Went very well with the French champagne. The owners are wonderful people, offered us their car to use if we go away, and to drive us home today. The French people are fabulous and so generous.


Today our daughter told us they have booked their flights for an April visit. Only 3 months till we see them.cant wait.

PS. My weight was pretty good. Only a gain of a couple of kilos. All the walking has helped.

Coquelicot Jan 28th, 2020 07:18 AM

cheska, it's always a bright spot in my morning when I see an update from you. Happy birthday, and congratulations on getting through your medical successfully as well as early enough to enjoy a good lunch. You're a good planner.

Our doctor's scales don't weigh the same as ours at home. I know which I prefer.

TDudette Jan 28th, 2020 09:10 AM

Glad your medical went well, cheska15! Kilos look less than pounds in conversion! \\:D/ Know you'll be glad to see your DD in April.

LOL, Coquelicot!


geetika Jan 28th, 2020 01:06 PM

Happy birthday cheska, hope you had a fun day... was wondering why you’d gone silent the last some days and was glad when you chimed back in!

rhon Jan 28th, 2020 02:07 PM

Pleased to hear your medicals went well. Enjoy the rest of your time in Nimes and the other places you will visit before your stay in Nimes finishes. We fly out on April 02 and are counting the weeks down. You will enjoy showing your family some of France.

jacooper Jan 28th, 2020 07:39 PM

Hi Cheska

I don’t understand what you’re saying about Australian private health insurance. As far as I know, private health insurance won’t cover anything health related outside Australia. You need travel insurance for that unless it’s a country with a reciprocal agreement which France isn’t. And even in countries with reciprocal agreements you’re only covered for emergency trips to hospital and it’s still advised that you take out travel insurance.

So are you talking about travel insurance rather than private health insurance like Medibank/Bupa etc that we have here in Australia?

cheska15 Jan 28th, 2020 10:58 PM

When applying for a visa you must have health/ medical insurance. This is not travel insurance and It is not Medicare or Australian private health cover, and is a policy for Aussies travelling overseas for a long stay.

jacooper Jan 28th, 2020 11:43 PM

I see. What is the name of it?

YankyGal Jan 29th, 2020 01:46 AM

Happy belated birthday cheska! Glad all went well and it was relatively easy.

cheska15 Jan 29th, 2020 06:13 AM

Thanks all for the kind wishes. I can’t believe I am 62. It’s not that I mind getting older, well apart from everything heading south, just that it has gone so quickly. I actually like getting older as you feel so free. I try not to sweat the small stuff anymore. I’m not always successful, but I try and focus on the important things.

The bushfires are getting closer to Canberra and with
ridiculously high temps approaching, everyone in Canberra is getting more nervous. Australia has had a shocking summer, and our young neighbours have said it is because we have left. They think we should have had enough fun by now, and we should return. They are joking.

jacooper Our insurance was with Woolworths as that suited us the best. The important part is the repatriation aspect. The consulate is interested in this bit. You need to look at international insurance for long term travellers. The great thing is we have put our private health on hold so we are not paying that while we are away. However you do loose the rebate, and we will probably have to pay extra tax on this years tax return.


jacooper Jan 29th, 2020 10:10 AM

Thanks for the info about health insurance. I had no idea that’s what people have to have for a long stay overseas, but it makes sense.

cheska15 Jan 31st, 2020 07:40 AM

We have hired a car for the next three days and after having my hair coloured ( lightened and then toned (€94) we set of to revisit Aigues Mortes.

We arrived at lunch time and the streets were very deserted. There were not a lot of restaurants open, and after walking around went back to an Italian place. I had half a pizza with salad and still couldn’t finish it all for €10.90, and my husband had a huge hamburger served with French fries and salad. A 25ml pitcher of white wine, and a glass of red wine took the cost to €30. We were to full to eat dessert.

I preferred the walk around the ramparts on the outside, rather than the walk on top (€16 for two). Walking around the outside gives you an excellent view of how thick and tall they are.

While being much quieter than the last visit, and we were able to walk down quite a few streets and have a proper look, as a town it still didn’t do a lot for me.

on the way home we stopped at a supermarket and it was nice to be able to buy groceries without having to think about getting it all home.

The weather over the next few days is warming up and sunny, and we will toss a coin for tomorrow’s day trip of either Orange or Aix en Provence. Or my husband might completely surprise me and having something else planned.

StCirq Jan 31st, 2020 07:58 AM

I'm a little confused about the health insurance, too. If the repatriation issue is so important, wouldn't the French SS system want to know you've got it when you arrive, not after a medical exam at almost the end of your trip? What would have happened if you need to be repatriated 6 months ago?

I confess to being ignorant of anything to do with long-term visas as I'm an EU resident/citizen and don't have to deal with this. Just curious.

Sorry Aigues-Mortes didn't grab you. I love the place and think the main Place is one of the most beautiful in all of France. I confess I've never been there in winter, though.

94 euros for color and tone would slay me! I pay 57 for cut, color, mèches, and style. After paying more than US$200 for the same when I lived in the States, this seems like such a bargain to me that I always leave a 5-euro tip, which I know is not expected.

It's warming up here, too, going to be close to 20C this weekend, but still plenty of rain, and then it turns cold again. My garden is very confused.

cheska15 Jan 31st, 2020 08:34 AM

StCirg Part of the visa requirement is that you have health insurance that covers the 12 month stay. What a lot of expats do is join the French system after residing in France for three months, and give up the global health insurance that was required for the visa. This then means when they go to renew the titre de sejour they are not meeting the requirement of the long stay visa. If a person who is a third country national gets really sick the French government does not want to pay for it, or the cost of flying the person back to their country. Fair enough too in my view.

The confusing part is that nothing stops you registering in the French system. However, the French system does not allow you to have repatriation, which is part of the long stay visa, and that is what bothered this particular Dr. Apparently OFII are now cracking down on people giving up the health insurance, as it is seen as a breach of visa requirements. I’m not sure if this is the same in every department, Some people have said ‘ I’m not worried because next week the focus will be on something else’.

TDudette Jan 31st, 2020 10:14 AM

We missed Orange but were interested in it because of its antiquities. If you go to Aix, try to get to the Hotel de Ville area. Looking forward to reading about your visit.

Adelaidean Jan 31st, 2020 11:15 AM

Happy 62nd cheska!

You’ll be pleased to know we had rain last night, (Port Lincoln was flooded) and the weather system is heading toward Canberra.

cheska15 Jan 31st, 2020 11:56 AM

You’ll be pleased to know we had rain last night, (Port Lincoln was flooded) and the weather system is heading toward Canberra.[/QUOTE]

Thanks that has made me happy although not for Port Lincoln. would be fabulous if the weather and fire predictions don’t eventuate.

Thanks for the birthday wishes.

cheska15 Feb 1st, 2020 07:55 AM

A quick drive up the highway ( we had previously driven the scenic drive) to beautiful Orange, on a cool and foggy morning.

It was raining when we arrived and found an easy park. Then a quick good and hot coffee, and then the obligatory visit to the tourist office. Every tourist office we have been in has had very helpful staff, and it was the same in Orange. Hats of to the people who work in them.

it was still raining and we decided to walk to the Arch of Orange, Triumph of Roman Imperialism. A really lovely and clean area, and the Arch is a beautiful piece of work. Loved how it is described in the guide book ‘as a ceremonial gateway that marked the boundary between the world of the dead and the original city.’

as it was still raining we decided to have an early lunch of a bowl of very good pasta with gambetta and chorizo for me, and my husband had ‘radiator pasta with carbonara and peas’. Dessert was panacotta for me and panettone with rum and a lot of chantilly cream. I didn’t think my husband would finish it all, and that was silly of me, because he did. A half litre of wine and sparkling water, total cost €45.

The Le Theatre Antigue was directly opposite. I didn’t have high expectations, as I find guide books tend to get a bit carried away. All I can say is wow. It is the most amazing theatre I have ever seen and can definitely claim being the worlds best preserved antique theatre. We also included the virtual reality tour and that was really good. We were here for a couple of hours, and I was visualising what it would have been like. There were not many people there so you could really take your time. We both loved the visit.

By the time we had finished the sun had come, and we walked around the lovely town. Great to see people out and about having coffee and drinks.It was a lovely day in Orange despite the weather we are hopeful of a return visit. I even think the town could be used as a great base to explore the area.

TDudette Feb 1st, 2020 08:26 AM

Orange sounds lovely. Now I'm bummed we didn't catch the bus for it.

gooster Feb 1st, 2020 09:35 AM

Happy Belated Birthday! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Orange. There is so much to explore in that area, and it seems like you are maximizing your time with the car.


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