France 2003

Cévennes

May 25th, 2003


Sunday - Paris to Nîmes

The Roman arena in Nimes The strike viewed from the Maison Carree Maison Carree. Maison Carree.

The flight from Chicago was uneventful except for a wonderful young French man from Lyons who was sitting next to Bon (much to her pleasure). He had hiked the Cévennes and loved the area for its natural beauty.

After a long wait for our packs in Charles de Gaulle - it would be catastrophic loosing a pack as you could not replace all you've honed over the past weeks - we set off for the train station, between two buildings in the Terminal 2 complex. Here we would catch the TGV or bullet train to Nîmes departing at 13:11.

The train was comfortable and fast, traveling the roughly 400 kilometers to Nîmes in about 4 hours with a couple of stops. We arrived about 5:00 p.m. I donned my new Rob-given rain gear - there was a heavy drizzle coming down. We walked up to the arene a Roman amphitheater where we given directions to the Touriste Bureau. We walked there arriving first at the extraordinary Maison Carrée where there was a labor demonstration underway - thankfully our train had not been included in the strike.

At the Tourist Office we got information on hotels and the bus to Anduze where our hiking would begin. We walked on in the drizzle to the location of the three recommended hotels. After turning down the first, we found a nice room for about 48 € across the street at the Acanthe du Temple Hotel.

We bathed, washed clothes and headed out to dinner quickly losing our sense of direction in the convoluted streets of Nimes. It's an attractive small city with extraordinary Roman buildings from the sixth century.

Copyright 2003 Donald R. Chauncey - All rights reserved