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Visiting Nimes or not during the May Pentecost Feria??

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Visiting Nimes or not during the May Pentecost Feria??

Old Feb 14th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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Visiting Nimes or not during the May Pentecost Feria??

Hi all,

Looking for some advice about whether to experience or avoid Nimes this May. We will be spending one night each in Arles and Avignon before picking up a rental car and spending a week in the Luberon. We had originally been excited to find out that the Pentecost festival was taking place in Nimes and were going to devote a day to going and experiencing it, but now I am thinking it might be best to avoid the headaches (long drive from the gite, parking, crowds, closed attractions) and expenses. The Feria is a large celebration of Pentecost spread out over several days and includes running of the bulls, bullfights, music, dancing, Spanish food, street attractions, etc. and attracts a large crowd of mainly French and Spanish visitors I think. Has anyone else been to any of the festivals in Nimes (there is also one every Sept.)? We are having a very hard time finding out much information on the event or any reviews or advice.

Also any advice on how redundant Nimes would be with Arles (and possibly Orange) as far as Roman architecture goes?

Thanks!!
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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 09:09 PM
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The Feria is the biggest event of the year in Nimes and the whole reason the city is full at that time. I have never heard of "Spanish" food being served there.

If you want to avoid festive, crowded events, you might be better off visiting France completely out of season.
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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 09:30 PM
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La fete de la transhumance in St Remy on Pentecost Monday might also be of interest- http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/t.../#.TztQn_F5mK0
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Old Feb 15th, 2012, 12:11 AM
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Well said Kerouac. One of the joys of being in France IN season is the fetes everywhere. Our village fete is crowded, busy, but enormous fun.
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Old Feb 15th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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They have information about it on the Nimes tourisme website, among other places.
http://www.ot-nimes.fr/vivez/a-lanne...pentecote.html

also http://uk.eurostar.com/uk/travel-to-...a-ide-64618273

I was in Arles during their Rice Festival which is similar, but not as major an event as the Nimes festival from what I understand. But it had the running of the bulls in the street (kind of bored bulls trotted up and down a bit), lots of people, some special events in the arenes, etc. It was a lot of fun and a nice party atmosphere. Nothing I wanted to see was closed on that day (not sure what you are referring to, do you mean museums? they weren't closed for a festival). But I didn't have to deal with a car, I just took the train there for a day trip, so it was easy. And I wasn't interested in seeing a bullfight, so there wasn't any ticket I had to buy and I don't think you would either if you are worred about expenses that day, unless you want to go to that. But I don't know what else they do in Nimes. Hard to know what to recommend.

As for Roman architecture, well, I think the Maison Caree in Nimes and the Amphitheatre in Orange were the two highlights in that area for me. Old Roman arenas are not too different in some senses, I don't feel anything special about the ones in Nimes and Arles. I'm not a huge Roman history buff. I mainly went to Arles for other reasons, although I did see some old ruins, there as I recall. I was mainly interested in seeing the place Van Gogh lived, the town itself and the regional ethnography museum (that was the highlight for me see http://www.museonarlaten.fr/museon/CG13/). For Roman ruins, I'd rank Nimes the best (although the amphitheatre in Orange was special), but Arles was of interest to me for other reasons than Roman ruins.
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Old Feb 15th, 2012, 11:30 PM
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Thanks for the replies so far.

@ardithl - thanks I will check that out.

@Christina - thanks for sharing your experience and website links. Yes at least the arena will be closed except for bullfights during this time according to the website.

@Kerouac - Yes, from what we have read Spanish food vendors, tapas, flamenco, etc. are common.

Anyone here been to the festival? Still weighing long drive from base in Luberon/crowds/parking to festival experience/Nimes sites.
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Old Feb 16th, 2012, 12:11 AM
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"Yes, from what we have read Spanish food vendors, tapas, flamenco, etc. are common."

Indeed, there is no feria in Southern France without sangria, paella, chorizo, ham, etc.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 03:49 AM
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A fabulous two weeks flamenco festival every January in Nimes for the past six years. Attracts the finest flamenco artists in the world, so Nimes for sure has got a serious flamenco connection. http://www.theatredenimes.com/fest-2..._flamenco.html
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