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cheska15 Oct 2nd, 2019 09:53 AM

Yes learnt that yesterday. Oh well you live and learn. Wasnít that big a deal really. Next time will do a bit more research about where to eat, and we tagged a few places that looked really nice. I think it is always a mistake to look for somewhere when you are hungry so the tolerance is low to really look hard. I was too focused on what we wanted to see. We have travelled often enough to know better.

StCirq Oct 2nd, 2019 10:06 AM

I consider that to be part of the collateral of traveling. Unless you're one of those people who map out in advance every table they're going to pick up a knife and fork in, you eat when you're hungry, and sometimes it's not stellar.. It never spoils my day.

cafegoddess Oct 2nd, 2019 12:48 PM

Cheska15, what an adventure you will be in! I will be following along.

geetika Oct 3rd, 2019 03:21 AM

We spent almost two weeks in Provence last year, in the Vaucluse, but never made it west of Avignon. Too much to see around where we were and not enough time, we didnít even get to Orange though it wasnít really that far away. Next time maybe weíll base near Uzes and explore that area...

kerouac Oct 3rd, 2019 07:52 AM

I am waiting to hear about the Camargue -- Arles ("biggest city in France" in surface), Aigues Mortes and Les Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer among other places. Some of them can be challenging in mid-summer, but they can be quite pleasant at this time of year. And don't believe all of the bad things that have been written about La Grande Motte. Now that it is almost 50 years old, the whole architectural complex has taken on a rather pleasant patina.

cheska15 Oct 3rd, 2019 08:21 AM

As we have not hired a car yet( lease one from March) we are taking trains for easy day trips. Today’s adventure was to Montpellier, and what a fabulous city. Left home at 9.00am, meeting our neighbor in the street. Handshakes all round, and he was impressed we were walking the 4.8 ks to Gare de Nimes. After 45 minute walk we had time for a coffee and croissant.

Thirty minute train ride and we had arrived. The walk into centre ville doesn’t necessarily show the best side of the town, yet you can feel the city has a fabulous vibe. We walked to the Place de la Comťdie and thru the old town. Absolutely gorgeous these small winding streets.

We walked up to the Arc de Triomphe Montpellier, and it is really beautiful as you can get yo really close, and then the Promenade du Peyrou. It is absolutely stunning, and I would like one built in my garden at home even though I would miss my neighbors.

Lunch was at the market. Pizza and wine to share was €13. Always love that the wine is cheaper than the food. We left the market and were walking down the street when we came across a jazz
band. It was fabulous to listen to some excellent music. I was expecting the hat to be passed around, but as soon as they finished they picked up their instruments and off they went.
After a quick journey home, we stopped in town for a glass of wine, and to pick up something light for dinner.

Arrived back home at 5.00 pm, and we were laughing that our day trips are the same as a standard working day in Australia. Know what I would rather be doing.

cheska15 Oct 6th, 2019 10:14 AM

As we havenít had much luck in our selection of restaurants here in Nimes we went to Les Halles yesterday to buy some food. We purchased 2 pieces of fillet steak (300 g) and a piece of Lamb(750g) and the cost was Ä36. Then on to the veggies and a couple of potatoes, piece of pumpkin, beans and two pears was Ä3.22. The pears are beautiful and the fruit here taste like fruit I used to eat as a child.

We have had more success with the wine, as it has been lovely and light(white) and the red been good too. I only drink white wine. At Ä9 per bottle this is probably a more expensive wine. The person where we purchased the wine was the least helpful person we have one across. Everyone here has been so helpful and in the markets seem eager to serve you. So unlike Australia.

As we wanted dessert the apple crumble look good. You can buy lovely thick cream here by the scoop which suits us. When we had the crumble it was so so sweet. I could only have a small piece as it is far too sweet for me. My husband will enjoy eating it for the rest of the week lol.

A relatively quite weekend exploring the back the back roads into town. We ended up walking through the Jardine Fontain on the way home and it was a lovely walk. Although it was uphill it wasnít strenuous at all.

Tonight we are planning the weeks day trips and tomorrow we will walk to look for a large supermarket and the electrical store to purchase a few items. Should be a relatively easy 6k walk

rhon Oct 6th, 2019 03:22 PM

Well, it sounds as though you are getting settled. I think you said that you do not enjoy cooking, but now you have time and are surrounded by different things, you may find some more pleasure in it.

Shopping for and cooking food is one of the real pleasures of our trips to France and we have a list of things we like to have in France that are not available here or as readily available. Top of the list is a lovely magret de canard. We prefer them to the filet and they are twice the size of a fillet here. We love the Morteau and Montbeliard sausages from the Jura, dense meaty Toulouse and the light boudin blanc. It is interesting to see the different cuts of meat. Lamb is expensive everywhere and we do not buy a lot in France, but one cut we have is a cote filet d'agneau which is like two loin chops which have not been cut through the bone. And there are different varieties of fruits such as apples, pears, plums.

On the whole we find costs balance out. Some things are cheaper and some things are dearer. Creme fraiche is an example. A tub is half the price in France and we also like fromage blanc and we have it with fruit puree which comes in a large jar in the tinned fruit aisle. Fresh sardines and rabbit are another thing not available where we live. We have a lot of salade composee - greens with whatever and topped with sardines or lardons and eggs, or goats cheese wrapped in bacon, or goats cheese on toasted baguette and, a big favourite, gesiers de canard. I wish we could get lardons and poitrine fumee here.

Can you tell that I am almost counting the days until we return next year !!! Until then I will live vicariously through your stay.

kerouac Oct 7th, 2019 07:52 AM

You need to get to a French kitchen fast, rhon! :p

Adelaidean Oct 7th, 2019 09:19 AM

I’m enjoying reading about your experiences, am sure many of us dream about escaping our usual work/ domestic life for a longer period than a vacation.
And glad to read about the hiccups. All part of the adventure.

cheska15 Oct 7th, 2019 09:43 AM

Iím enjoying reading about your experiences, am sure many of us dream about escaping our usual work/ domestic life for a longer period than a vacation.

Our trip to France for 12 months was the only thing that kept me working for the last year. All I did was research research and research for 18 months. It seemed at times that it would never happen. Yet here it is and has all come together. Couldnít have done it without the support of my husband who thought it seemed like a good idea without the extreme emotions I had about it all. He didnít really get involved until this year, and our daughter and son in law who encouraged us to follow our dream. From one Adeladean to another even though we havenít lived their for 20 years it is still home, Thanks.

cheska15 Oct 9th, 2019 10:50 AM

Today’s adventure was a very easy trip to Arles. We walked to the train station and the buses are at the back of the train station to the right (coming from the town). The bus number is 130, and for €1.50 pp we took the 55 minute ride. Trains were fewer option times for going to Arles. The scenery along the way is not particularly outstanding.

We departed the bus near the tourist office, grabbed a map and off we went. First stop was the Vincent Van Gough Foundation. There were nine of his paintings, the most famous being the Sowers. i loved his paintin of a pair of boots, as I’m sure we all have a pair of gardening boots that look similar. Included in the exhibition were paintings by a Georgian artist. Not my cup of tea.

Then it was time for lunch and we enjoyed our meal at apostrophecafe. I had a very nice asparagus and shrimp ravioli, and my DH had an Asian stir fry, and apart from the soggy snow peas was quite good. Dessert was tarte tartin for me, and a cheese plate for DH, a pitcher of white wine (50cls) and the bill was €47.

After lunch we visited les cryptoportiques @ le forum. It was interesting to see the foundations, and the cost was€9 for two. Probably not a must see.

I was then ready for a coffee, and as fate would have it opposite a clothes shop. Five minutes later, after purchasing a really nice jacket, we had coffee, and basically walked around the town wandering down streets that took our fancy. While there are a few nice things to see, the town is not one I would go back too.

It was a train trip back to Nimess it was the quickest option. For €9.00 for two and twenty two minutes e were back in Nimes. Total distance covered today by our weary legs was 16ks

cheska15 Oct 13th, 2019 10:28 AM

On Thursday we hired a car for a week so that we could travel to places a little easier. Interestingly we couldnít get the rates from Hertz on line as you had to ring. Couldnít get them on the phone, so walked to Gare Nimes and booked. All companies were about the same cost.

On Friday we drove to Uzes a gorgeous small town and wandered down the alleys and streets. Probably had the worse coffee so far. Then it was off to Pont du Gard. Really beautiful place. We had lunch and 14 euros for two allegedly hot ham and cheese baguettes and a soft drink to share was a bit pricey. That is to be expected buying food in a tourist place. They baguettes came barely warm. The great thing there is they have microwaves for everyone to use. A quick zap and the cheese was melted. Next time we will take our own lunch, as you can sit in the general area eating your own food. The restaurant was fully booked so that may be an option as well.

On a grey and windy Saturday we went to Aigues Mortes. The gps managed to completely confuse itself and along with a frustrated husband we finally arrived. I should have checked to see what was on before going as when we arrived the Arivado was on. This is an event where people on horses direct bulls as they run through cordoned off streets in the town. After watching this event we headed back into the main area. It was jammed pack with people, brass bands and other bands all playing at the same time. We had a quick bite to eat and left. Will return another time. Note to self check what is on in towns before going for a visit.

Today has been a spectacular day even though our brains arenít working properly. We went to Saint Remy de Provence and it is a beautiful town. Of course why we went on a Sunday when there were a lot of people about is beyond me. We walked out to Saint Paul de Mausole where Vincent Van Gough spent some time. After receiving the book Van Gough at the asylum for a Christmas I was eager to go. Itís about 2 ks from the town ( tourist office says 1 k) and definitely worth following the Van Gough trail. It is a beautiful building and still used as a mental health hospital. The tourist route is seperate from the hospital. I loved the visit here. If you donít want to walk you can park at the hospital. You would miss out though on the Van Gough prints along the way.

We then left St Remy and had another brain fade and went to Les Beaux de Provence ( driving through the most amazing scenery)to see the Carrieres De Lumieres along with hundreds and hundreds of others. This is an exhibition of Vincentís paintings that are shown in a cave. There was a massive queue so we didnít bother and walked around the town. A truly spectacular little place. We will book tickets online for the exhibition and return. Not our best idea to go on a Sunday. We canít wait to go back and hopefully can get tickets for tomorrow or Wednesday.

StCirq Oct 13th, 2019 10:44 AM

I'm sorry you didn't have a great time in Aigues-Mortes. It's one of my very favorite places in France.

cheska15 Oct 13th, 2019 10:56 AM

Our own fault for not checking. We will return at a better time. There is no need for us to go anywhere on weekends. Have to get our brains into gear.

TDudette Oct 13th, 2019 11:15 AM

You'll be old hands before you know it, cheska15. How nice to have the time to return. Van Gogh wasn't a favorite of mine until we went to Arles. We had a coffee in the Forum square. I looked up and realized I was seeing this:
​​​​​​Even thought it was daytime, the scene was immediately recognizable and brought tears to my eyes.

Please continue to share your amazing trip.

cheska15 Oct 13th, 2019 11:56 AM

We must have sat at the same place. I didn’t care that it was what some would call a tourist trap. It was a highlight for me too.

geetika Oct 13th, 2019 09:58 PM

Cheska and TDudette, I know what you mean, the visit to St Remy was so evocative for me. Walking down to the asylum from town you recognise so many scenes from Van Goghís paintings. Especially when looking out of the window from his room, I could immediately relate to the ones I saw at the famous Amsterdam museum...

cheska15 Oct 14th, 2019 12:29 AM

geetika I felt that too. The words on some of the posters along the way were so moving.

StCirq Oct 14th, 2019 01:49 AM

TDudette, I still remember the moment I sat and saw that very scene. It was in the early 1990s. I ordered a plate of shrimp something, looked up, and realized I was in the middle of a Van Gogh painting. Takes your breath away.

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