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TDudette Mar 13th, 2020 09:55 AM

Glad to read that your insurance will cover virus costs, cheska15.

Thanks for the hotel info. I was curious but don't have any first-hand info about your hotel. Sorry. Am looking forward to reading about your stay there.

According to google maps, it's an 11 minute walk to the area near Aquabella hotel where we stayed and enjoyed. I think I shared my TR about our stay there?

cheska15 Mar 13th, 2020 10:05 AM

We need all the exercise we can get. I did read your report and have taken notes. So thank you. Funny how you discover people who travel the same way in a lot of aspects. Really looking forward to visiting.

margo_oz Mar 13th, 2020 10:17 PM

I'm glad you're keeping going, Cheska

As I can't travel at all this year, post surgery, I need your updates to keep me going.

We are having serious autumn in Sydney

cheska15 Mar 14th, 2020 08:20 AM

On this beautiful sunny and windless day we walked into town and had coffee at our normal cafe. All tables are set a metre apart in line with social distancing recommendations.
We then visited our favourite Italian( La Piazetta) restaurant here in Nimes for the last time. It was warm enough to sit outside, and the tables were again placed 1 metre apart. I must admit I am enjoying the distance apart.

As always the restaurant was packed with people and here was a queue of people waiting. The lovely girl waiting on us suggested the special for lunch of scallops(6) with mozzarella cheese, and a parma prosciutto, and served with a rocket salad. Very yummy and surprisingly filling. All washed down with a bottle of Prosecco. Of course we still had room for the best cafe gourmand. It is in fact the best of any restaurant we have visited.

As a thank you we did take flowers for the owners who have been so kind to us, and chocolates for the staff. I did feel a little emotional leaving as we have often been overwhelmed by the generosity of these wonderful people.

We had to catch the bus home, and unusually the timing was perfect and we had to dash for the bus. Normally you enter the bus where the driver is. Not today though, as the front door was closed, and people had to enter through the middle door. Access to the driver is not allowed and the area around him is marked off with tape. I’m not sure how you go about paying for a ticket.

There were no handshakes in either places, only the elbow nudge, and very little normal recognition practices amongst other people.

Before going to the restaurant we went to the market. It was midday and they close at 1.00 pm. I have never seen in any of the Boulangerie’s the empty shelves like we did today. Some of the butchers had empty trays as well. I’m not sure if it was due to the time, or other factors. Very unusual. We will have to go into the markets tomorrow morning as I would like to cook Roast Chicken in what will be the last cooked meal for some time. I will report back.

The owner of the townhouse we are renting in Blois has contacted us to advise there has been a case in Blois. Nice of him to do that. If we have to cancel at a later date so be it. We are expecting the Government to announce pug her travel restrictions at some stage. We will still be able to go for drives, and we have a picnic set that we take with us. We will sit and eat in the car if necessary.

I hate to think what is going to happen to the economy of the European countries. While we are more than happy to support the economy, all social activities will depend on the Government’s advice at the time.

cheska15 Mar 14th, 2020 12:28 PM

Well how quickly things change. France has now closed restaurants, shops, cafes etc. only places that will be open will be supermarkets, tabacs, and petrol stations. This will have a devastating effect on the economy, yet fully understand.

We have cancelled Aix-en Provence and are staying here in Nimes until March 28 and then heading to Blois. Our accommodation is a townhouse where we can be very self contained. We will then make a decision whether we remain in France or return to Australia. We are reluctant to make any decisions while we are emotional, and we don’t want to throw in the towel either.

starrs Mar 14th, 2020 12:55 PM

What an amazing first hand account of what's going on. Wishing you the best in your decision making.

kerouac Mar 14th, 2020 01:22 PM

This will certainly be an unforgettable experience, sort of like people who were on holiday when a revolution broke out. :)

At least you will not starve.

cheska15 Mar 14th, 2020 01:30 PM

starrs thanks. kerouac we plan to live off body fat for awhile.

rhon Mar 14th, 2020 02:19 PM

I thought of you when I saw that news. It will be very difficult for tourists who do not have self catering facilities. I do not envy you having to make decisions. We agonised for days with highs and lows before we made the decision to cancel our trip. In the end the decision would have been made for us.

Cases here are increasing, although the bulk of them have been returned travellers and close contacts. I have no doubt that will change in the near future. It is going to have a devastating impact on economies around the world. As self funded retirees, we are watching thousands fly out of our super every day. We are not alone there either.

Take care.

kerouac Mar 14th, 2020 02:33 PM

Nobody will be going hungry in France even if they can't cook, since there are so many ready-to-eat options available at the supermarkets. I don't know if restaurant deliveries will be authorized (Uber Eats, Deliveroo…) but I saw it was possible in at least one country, so maybe France will allow it as well.

The thought of the tourists who live exclusively for restaurant meals makes me smile a bit, even though I shouldn't. I do understand that for certain travelers, going to restaurants is as important if not more important than seeing the sights. However, I suppose that these people were the first to flee.

rhon Mar 14th, 2020 02:44 PM

I am always a bit bemused when I see people post itineraries and include the restaurant plans and sometimes even bookings they have made before they go, and often for both lunch and dinner. How can they eat that much!!! And we like our food. The supermarkets will be even more crowded with tourists buying food. At least they will not want toilet paper.

cheska15 Mar 14th, 2020 02:48 PM

rhon. What we can’t stop thinking about tonight is all those people we saw today don’t have a job come tomorrow. While the French government was talking of helping the workers, we all know that when any government does this, it is only basic.

cheska15 Mar 14th, 2020 02:51 PM

As I am not a great cook, we like to eat out to experience things I could never make. It is not the end of the world for us. More concerned about the impact on the economy.

gooster Mar 14th, 2020 03:00 PM

So sorry, cheska15, that the situation has come down to this. Stay safe and find ways to enjoy yourselves. Are the hotels with restaurants closing their dining as well?

StCirq Mar 14th, 2020 03:04 PM

cheska, you can pretty well rest assured those people will be taken care of at least FAR better than they would be in the USA, for example. I don't know about Australia. It's hard times for all, that's for sure.

I agree, rhon, ir appalls me how much American stomachs want to absorb, and we love our food and eat well too. But a vacation to Paris that revolves around stuffing yourself at both lunch and dinner has never held any appeal for me, and isn't the slightest bit French.

I think it's mostly about name-dropping the restaurants they've stopped in. Paris is full of fascinating and mouth-watering places to eat that these people will never find.

cheska15 Mar 14th, 2020 03:19 PM

I too don’t know how people can eat two meals a day. When we eat out at lunchtime that’s it for the day. Maybe a piece of fruit. We are usually so full with two courses.

rhon Mar 14th, 2020 04:47 PM

We mostly go out for lunch when we are in France , and then only once or twice a week, and really enjoy the local places in the small villages. However after lunch out we usually just have fruit that night, sometimes with some cheese. We really like Trappe d'Echourgnac ( when we can find it ) or Comte with fruit.
We have just come back from our local Woolies and it was very busy for a Sunday morning with most people having trolleys packed to the top. We have not gone crazy. I always have quite a few cans of beans, chickpeas, canned tomatoes etc and dried lentils, a few different types of rice, pasta, couscous etc. in my pantry especially in autumn ( we are in Autumn here in Australia ) and winter.
New Zealand has brought in self isolation for everyone when they arrive there, and there are calls for our government to do the same here. So wait and see. It is really moving into the unknown.

TDudette Mar 14th, 2020 05:24 PM

Thanks for sharing all this, cheska15. I'm sorry about Aix. How kind of you to specially thank the restaurant.

Warm thoughts to all.

margo_oz Mar 14th, 2020 08:40 PM


I do hope you can continue your trip pretty much as planned.

I'm grounded here, but revelling in all your details.

maitaitom Mar 14th, 2020 09:06 PM

"I too don’t know how people can eat two meals a day."

When you walk 10 -12 miles a day on vacation, it's not hard to eat two or three meals a day. And it has absolutely nothing to do with "name-dropping." I do like eating at good restaurants, however, whatever the restaurant's name happens to be.

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