Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Linning up for the spectacle

On to Nimes! And some interesting traffic! I had directions to the hostel again, but one small problem—they were having a big Pentecost Monday Festival on the streets of Nimes and some of the streets I needed were blocked off. I found a temporary traffic control person who had no idea where the youth hostel was, but did know where the Garden of Fountains was which was the penultimate landmark—I finally got over to the garden and found the signs—success!. I then headed back into town for the carnival and it was a lot of fun—big street fair with several bands, lots of food (almost all kebabs though—with one Chinese food stand—weird). There are two main sites here—one is a Roman temple (Maison Carrée) dedicated to the Cult of the Emperor and is one of the best preserved Roman ruins that we have. No reconstruction here—the thing still stands and is impressive. A simple rectangular building, but with very tall columns—very Roman looking (one of the most impressively preserved Roman ruins I have seen--and in France no less!) And interesting how we know the date and dedication—there are the holes left over where the brass letters were attached—by looking at the spacing of the holes and script know used at the same time there were figure out what it said—Arippa did this one! Nimes also has a large, and still in use coliseum and I wandered around the outside, but as I didn’t have tickets to tonight’s bullfight I couldn’t get in!
This picture is of the coliseum and the crowd that had gathered for the bullfight. An interesting angle I think.

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