A Travellerspoint blog

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Train de l'Ardèche dans les Gorges du Doux

Steaming up the Doux River


View 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

I was going on the tour today, so I went to breakfast first. A decided to have a shower first so I put the Privacy note on the door. She didn't know I had done that so she locked the bathroom door. (Belt and suspenders) I had scrambled eggs, hash browns, grapefruit juice and some tea. She got there just about as I was finishing.

The main reason I took this cruise was to revisit some of the places I went to in 1964. I gave a list of the places to Dragan and asked if I could get a taxi and drive by those places. This morning, I talked to Dragan and he is having some problems getting me a driver because of all the people in France for the World Cup. I said just a taxi would be OK. I know where I want to go - I don't really need a guide.
A's report on the train ride
Our tour was to take a steam train ride
Diagram of the river and train track

Diagram of the river and train track


It was not until 9:30. I managed to get myself to the lobby and signed out but did not get my earphone device activated to blue. The scooter had to be lifted to the ramp which then had cleats all the way down, and at the end there were two steps. After that I had a ramp to the bus. A folded the scooter, and I climbed on the bus. But all the front seats were taken, so Artie who we ate dinner with last night let me have his seat and I sat with his wife, Midge. As we started the tour they told us to put on our seat belts and she found mine for me and I hooked hers up for her.
From the bus

From the bus


We went through the little town of Tournon and headed for the train station. Before we got to the train station, we had a one lane bridge.
One lane bridge

One lane bridge


The road was bordered by grape vines
Road along the tracks from the bus

Road along the tracks from the bus


We got to the train station and A got off to fix the scooter but we had to wait for Artie to get up to us to help his wife get out. She just could not walk the distance to the train. I think it was mainly on her account that they made an arrangement for the elevator.

I made it onto the train and people said, this is a good seat for you. But it was a sideways seat on the wrong side of the train so I really could not see ahead or behind me without twisting. A sat in a regular seat.
Bridge

Bridge


On the way up, the only reasonable photos I got were of the dam.
f91f8330-b19b-11e9-bfed-0564c18d84f5.JPGPassing the dam

Passing the dam

Dam

Dam

IMG_2294.JPGDam

Dam


We had a very nice informative guide and she explained the geography and about the local industry.
Looking down on the river

Looking down on the river


Sooty smoke in the tunnel

Sooty smoke in the tunnel


She said that while the engine is turned around on a turntable and will go to the other end of the train, that the cars will not be turned around so that if we wanted to see the other side of the route, we should change with people on the gorge side of the train. I looked and saw a seat on that side that was not being used, so when the train stopped, I moved over to that seat. A got off to take a photo of them turning the train around on the turntable
Turntable

Turntable

Engine

Engine


at the little station of Colombier le Vieux – Saint-Barthélémy le Plain. I don't think she remembers the one she saw in Fort Worth when she was about 4.

I got better photos on the way back. Also since we were now at the end of the train rather than the beginning, we could see the engine better on a curve and we didn't get so sooty in the tunnel.
Bridge across the river

Bridge across the river


River

River

Bridge

Bridge

Bridge by the river

Bridge by the river

Train approaching a bridge

Train approaching a bridge

The guide pointed out a generating station which used gravity to get the water to it for power
Electric generating plant

Electric generating plant


, and also an aqueduct which was built by German prisoners during WWI (so not an old one).
fcadb300-b19b-11e9-bfed-0564c18d84f5.JPGAqueduct

Aqueduct

An isolated beach

An isolated beach

Road from the train

Road from the train


After we got off the train,
Steam Engine

Steam Engine

Detail

Detail

Green cars - not the ones we used

Green cars - not the ones we used


we went to the little museum
Engine cut-out

Engine cut-out


c24d8be0-b19b-11e9-8c93-159787f207d1.JPGModel village in the museum

Model village in the museum


where they had a model town, and a collection of lanterns and
a model railway car

a model railway car


And also a gift shop. I bought a book on trains for the two boys Lucas and Adrian. I also sent each of them a postcard from the ship.
Lavender

Lavender


We got back on the ship and there was some lady berating Dragan because she got soot on her clothes from the steam engine. What did she expect?

We didn't go to lunch until almost one, and A persuaded me to get a light lunch so we wouldn't have to go all the way down to the dining room, so I did that. I had cucumber yogurt soup and some pasta, a roll and a pastry.
Light lunch in the lounge

Light lunch in the lounge


Right after that they set up the ice cream bar and I had chocolate and caramel ice cream with caramel sauce and coconut and chocolate sprinkles.

We went back to the room and I used the shower. The shower is triangular. The door opens from the pointy end. There is a rain shower over the center and a hand-held shower nozzle and there are at least 3 things to turn to decide on temperature, amount of water and which shower head you are using. In order for me to face the controls (and not have them behind my back), I have to have the shower seat as far as possible in the pointy end of the shower. But I manage.

At 3 we went to the Barcelona talk, and apparently this is another one of those things where we get off the ship at 8 and we take a bus to the place where we are to take the train and then we have "free time" until it is time to take the train and this time, the train will only be there in the station for 6 or 7 minutes. Dragan said his first step would be to kidnap the conductor and take his whistle.

Not everyone is going to Barcelona. He also said that we should get our tickets for Gaudi's church in advance and that if we did it on the ship computer in our room, they could be printed out on the printer here on the ship. So that's what I did. We have a tour of Barcelona on Friday morning which ends outside of the church so I have tickets for 12:15 with an audio guide. All printed out.

We came back to the room and I think both of us had a nap. We got to dinner a little late. I had the
Lamb

Lamb


which was a little hard to cut, and I also had the Crepes suzette

Crepes suzette


Sunset on the Rhone

Sunset on the Rhone

Granddaughter looking at a windmill at our window

Granddaughter looking at a windmill at our window

IMG_2434-001.JPGAfter sunset on the Rhone

After sunset on the Rhone


We are still (after midnight) on our way to Avignon, having gone through several locks. I miss the bow camera which has infrared so you and see at night

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:34 Archived in France Comments (2)

Avignon on my own


View 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Breakfast today was French toast (raisin bread).
Raisin bread French toast

Raisin bread French toast


A was doing the aqueduct tour. I was to get a taxi. I left after all the tours were gone, and I asked Midge (Artie's wife) if she would like to go along, and she did.
Taking out the garbage

Taking out the garbage


We got a nice taxi driver - he was taking us to the Antiquities of St. Remy when I saw a cemetery that was in St. Remy
Cemetery walls

Cemetery walls


so we went there and I took some photos. It was a very big municipal cemetery.
St Remy Municipal Cemetery

St Remy Municipal Cemetery


There were a lot of roundabouts with statues etc in them.
IMG_2450.JPGGiratoire du MOULIN

Giratoire du MOULIN


After we saw the Triumphal Arch and the Mausoleum (the Antiquities of St. Remy)
The Mausoleum and the Triumphal Arch  Dating from about 20 BC

The Mausoleum and the Triumphal Arch Dating from about 20 BC


we went to Les Baux. We passed fields of olive trees on one side
Olive trees

Olive trees


and grape vines on the other. At Les Baux, there were lots and lots of people looking at it. I didn't go in, I just took photos from the car.
Les Baux

Les Baux

Les Baux

Les Baux


View from Les Baux

View from Les Baux


Desolate rocks

Desolate rocks

Other side of Les Baux

Other side of Les Baux


View from the other side of Les Baux

View from the other side of Les Baux

There was a fancy hotel -Baumaniere- there at the base of the hill.
Baumiere Hotel - a big fancy hotel near Les Baux

Baumiere Hotel - a big fancy hotel near Les Baux


We drove
Road with plane trees

Road with plane trees


Camargue Bull monument, Beaucaire

Camargue Bull monument, Beaucaire


to Tabescon to see
IMG_2598.JPGKing Rene's castle

King Rene's castle

King Rene's castle

King Rene's castle


and to see St. Marthe's church across the street.
Église Sainte-Marthe de Tarascon

Église Sainte-Marthe de Tarascon


Église Sainte-Marthe de Tarascon or Collégiale Royale Sainte-Marthe is a collegiate church in Tarascon, France, dedicated to Saint Martha. It is where, according to a local tradition, the biblical figure Martha is buried. I have compared my photo of 1964 - in those days the church steeple was gone and I don't think it was open.
Then and Now- Collegiate Church of Saint Martha

Then and Now- Collegiate Church of Saint Martha

Tower

Tower

Doors

Doors

Sainte MARTHE Hotesse du CHRIST

Sainte MARTHE Hotesse du CHRIST


There was a statue of what looked like a six legged turtle with a human face in the median. La Tarasque, a Medieval Monster

La Tarasque, a Medieval Monster


A Tarasque is a dragon with six stubby bear legs, the body of an ox, and the grumpy face of a powerful lion. With its short, fat body, It would almost be cute, until you realize the Tarasque also has a wildly-swinging scorpion tail and thorny turtle shell.

As legend would have it, the Tarasque migrated from Central Turkey and was almost impossible to kill. Knights and Kings chopped with every weapon they could find yet the beast eluded them. Some time around the the 1st century, St. Martha, one of the biblical figures that witnessed Jesus’ resurrection, took care of the problem. She simply charmed the beast and brought it back to Tarascon. Unfortunately, the villagers still feared the monster and killed it, even though it made no attempt to attack or even defend itself.

After the beast was killed, the town’s people felt guilty and named their town after the dragon they had slain.
Castle town

Castle town


It was now about noon and the driver wanted to know what we would want to do for lunch and Midge said she wanted a place with a bathroom. We were close to the ship so I thought if I let her off at the ship, she could have lunch and a bathroom there and I could take the last few photos in Avignon. But after she got out of the car, I saw that she could not get out on the ship because they were moving them (we were rafted on Tauck's Emerald Princess). The ship people said they would put her in the shade, but she did not get back on until just before I got back. I apologized to Artie, but even though he said not to worry about it, I don't think he has forgiven me. It was hot and she really needed a bathroom.

I did take some photos of the Pope's palace, and of the town and walls of Avignon
IMG_2612.JPGAvignon wall

Avignon wall

Avignon wall

Avignon wall


IMG_2622.JPGAvignon Street

Avignon Street

Street in Avignon

Street in Avignon

Flags in Avignon

Flags in Avignon

Pope's Palace

Pope's Palace

Hotel d'Europe

Hotel d'Europe

Restaurant Christian Etienne behind the Pope's Palace

Restaurant Christian Etienne behind the Pope's Palace


Sign on the Pope's Palace

Sign on the Pope's Palace

Pope's Palace

Pope's Palace

Pope's Palace

Pope's Palace

Pope's Palace

Pope's Palace

Window in the Pope's Palace

Window in the Pope's Palace

Wall of Avignon

Wall of Avignon

37f4d650-b26e-11e9-ab5e-8de378c24411.JPGPope's Palace rises above the town

Pope's Palace rises above the town

Pope's palace

Pope's palace


Avignon wall

Avignon wall


Bridge at Avignon

Bridge at Avignon

large_428ae280-b412-11e9-8be1-e75f96511c40.JPG
Then the driver took me back to the ship. He only charged me €250 and I gave him €20 as a tip as he did a really good job for me. (Although at one point he said he was a racing driver instructor - except for one time when he cut from the fast lane all the way over to the right turn lane, I didn't have a problem with his driving). Incidentally the driver said that just before he picked us up he had taken a pianist from our ship and a lady to the hospital - the pianist with a broken hand and the lady with a heart attack. Dragan said that the pianist had slipped on the stairs and had just sprained his hand catching himself. He was the ship's pianist and not the one from the Jazz group.

I did not have lunch - I downloaded photos and took a nap and then went to Afternoon tea.
Tea in the Lounge

Tea in the Lounge


A's afternoon excursion was to the truffle farm and they got back so late that we had the disembarkation lecture at 7:45 after the Jazz concert.

We had dinner. I had
Strawberry-Lime Smoothie

Strawberry-Lime Smoothie

Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco

"Eclair" Choux pastry , Praline Cream and Hazelnut Ice Cream

"Eclair" Choux pastry , Praline Cream and Hazelnut Ice Cream


a chocolate eclair which they called a Choux pastry. A. had ice cream
Ice Cup Pina Colada

Ice Cup Pina Colada


At about 10
Ferris wheel at night

Ferris wheel at night

Pope's palace at night

Pope's palace at night


the ship cruised down to the old bridge at Avignon (from the song about the bridge).
It was very dark but I got a few reasonable photos.
Avignon Bridge at night

Avignon Bridge at night

Avignon Bridge at night

Avignon Bridge at night

I have a lot of comparison photos to arrange (Then and Now comparisons of 1964 and 2019), which I will add at the end. The only ones I have done so far are the Antiquities of St. Remy. In common with a lot of the other places - in 1964, there was nobody around. Now there is a car park and everything.
The Mausoleum, or Cenotaph of the Julii - Then and Now

The Mausoleum, or Cenotaph of the Julii - Then and Now


This funerary monument dates from 30-20 BCE. Particularly well preserved, it is famous for its unusual structure, unique in Roman architecture: from a rectangular pedestal with four carved faces rises to triumphal arch, on a small round temple housing the effigies of two members of the Gallo Roman family of the Julii, to whom this monument is dedicated. On the left the photo I took in 1964 and on the right the photo I took in 2019
The Triumphal Arch of the Antiquities of St Remy - Then and Now

The Triumphal Arch of the Antiquities of St Remy - Then and Now


It has lost the pediment which once crowned the arch. It is decorated with beautiful reliefs illustrating Caesar's conquest of the Gauls, with fruit and foliage, symbolizing plenty, carved under the arch. I couldn't get quite the same angle this time but at the top 1964 and bottom 2019. In the Then photo, there is a boy climbing on the Arch on the right side.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:36 Archived in France Comments (4)

Down to Arles - Tarascon from the River

A Lock and Two Castles


View 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

A set the alarm for me to go off at 6 and I got up and was out on deck by 6:30 just after the sunrise.
The Sun has risen

The Sun has risen


This was because the ship did not leave Avignon until about 3 am as it was such a short distance to Arles, and we were going to pass King Rene's Castle at Tarascon at 7 am and I wanted to get some more photos of it. The castle was built by the Duc d’Anjou, cousin of King Charles VI between 1400 and 1435 but is mainly associated with his son, Good King René who inherited it in 1449. Much of the castle’s interior was ransacked during the French Revolution and became a prison in the 18th Century, which it remained up until the 1900’s, you can see graffiti scratched onto the walls and floors by the prisoners incarcerated there. The castle was bought by the city in 1932 and restoration of the castle began in the early part of the 20th century. We did not go into the castle in 1964 and I do not know if I could have done. It is open now, but I did not try to visit.

First we went through a lock which I had not had a chance to see yet except from our stateroom window - which was very uninformative since all we saw from there was the lock walls. (Without the bow camera working, I could not see a lock coming in time to get out and photograph it and sometimes it was just too hot to stay out there and wait). So it was an extra reason to get up early today - I could photograph the lock
Approaching the lock

Approaching the lock

Signs on the lock

Signs on the lock

Live jackets must be worn - All boats must be moored

Live jackets must be worn - All boats must be moored

Hands are prohibited?

Hands are prohibited?

Entering the lock - red light at the end

Entering the lock - red light at the end

Lock - Viaduc de Tarascon/Beaucaire.  Works from June to October

Lock - Viaduc de Tarascon/Beaucaire. Works from June to October

Lockhouse with our ship reflected in the windows

Lockhouse with our ship reflected in the windows

Side of the lock with numbers and yellow arrow at the stopping point

Side of the lock with numbers and yellow arrow at the stopping point


Water starting to leave the lock

Water starting to leave the lock

Water leaving the lock reveals the lock gates behind the buffer wall

Water leaving the lock reveals the lock gates behind the buffer wall

Looking up as we go down

Looking up as we go down

No smoking

No smoking

Lock gates start to open

Lock gates start to open

Lock gates opening

Lock gates opening

Side of the lock as the lock gates open

Side of the lock as the lock gates open

Green light

Green light

Docking point - with depth indicator

Docking point - with depth indicator

Spikes on the light are meant to keep birds off.  Seagull doesn't care

Spikes on the light are meant to keep birds off. Seagull doesn't care


Seagulls

Seagulls

Docking point with a floating dock

Docking point with a floating dock

Château de Beaucaire tower above the trees

Château de Beaucaire tower above the trees

The Château de Beaucaire is a ruined castle  It is on the west bank of the Rhone

The Château de Beaucaire is a ruined castle It is on the west bank of the Rhone


in the commune of Beaucaire in the Gard département of France. The existing structures date from the 12th and 16th centuries, with other elements from various times in the Middle Ages. First built in the 11C, it was torn down on Richelieu's orders. It is on the other side of the Rhone from Good King Rene's castle
Docking point on the left as we approach King Rene's castle

Docking point on the left as we approach King Rene's castle

Right of way sign? and big windmill in the back

Right of way sign? and big windmill in the back

Bridge which looks like it has signs on it that we can't go through

Bridge which looks like it has signs on it that we can't go through

Yellow light means go on the right

Yellow light means go on the right


When I get closer I see that the bridges are not so close and the yellow lights line up for us to go through.
King Rene's castle

King Rene's castle


Yesterday, the taxi drive drove around and over the bridge so I could get the castle from a different angle, and today I got more photos from the river of King Rene's castle. René D’anjou aka Good King Rene, (born Jan. 16, 1409, Angers, Fr.—died July 10, 1480, Aix-en-Provence), was duke of Anjou (from 1430), and count of Provence and of Piedmont. In 1419, when René was 10, he married Isabel of Lorraine aged 9. He was also titular king of Naples from 1435 to 1442. The affairs of the kings, queens, dukes and duchesses are too complicated for my brain but apparently Rene was captured, lost Naples and was required to pay a huge ranson. He is supposed to have been taught to paint in prison under the guidance of Jan van Eyck. After his first wife died, he married Jeanne de Laval, 20 years his junior, he retired to Tarascon where he dedicated himself to the love and patronage of the Arts, holding court in his castle with many of the painters, writers, astrologers, physicians, (including Jean of Saint Remy, the grandfather of Nostradamus) of the day. King René, often called Good King René, as instead of punishing people with death and torture he preferred to exact fines and taxes, (he was in constant need of money), was the last ruler of Provence.
King Rene's castle on the Rhone

King Rene's castle on the Rhone

Tunnels at the base of King Rene's castle

Tunnels at the base of King Rene's castle

St Martha's steeple

St Martha's steeple


St Martha's is across the street from the castle.
Steeple backlit by the sunrise

Steeple backlit by the sunrise

Electric train crosses the bridge in front of us

Electric train crosses the bridge in front of us

The special of the day today was Eggs Benedict, so I had that. I took some photos from the dining room.
Eggs Benedict for breakfast

Eggs Benedict for breakfast

Photo from breakfast

Photo from breakfast

Breakfast bread

Breakfast bread

Arles from the dining room

Arles from the dining room

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:37 Archived in France Comments (2)

Camargue Wildlife and Sunflowers

A Disappointing Excursion


View 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Our excursion was to be to the Camargue which is an estuary area like around New Orleans. There are semi-wild white horses, so I thought that was what the excursion would be about. It was not. But I didn't find that out right away.
Workers on the dock

Workers on the dock


First we had to get off the ship. The ship was so low down that we had to go up to the sun deck to get off.
Sun deck even with the dock

Sun deck even with the dock


So I went up to the Sun Deck. The scooter followed me. Now the gangway of course had step at the beginning and cleats all the way along it. The helpers (which included the Captain) were positioned in front and behind me. And the one in front took hold of the handle of the scooter including the forward lever and when he grabbed it the scooter jumped almost off the gangway - only being stopped by the helper's body. At the same time I was holding onto the rope that was on the side of the gangway and the Captain said "Watch out" but I didn't watch out quick enough and I scraped and bruised my hand on the rough rope.

I did manage to get off the ship. But I was very sleepy from going to bed late and getting up early and I had forgotten my hat. Climbed onto the bus. I had originally picked the red group which was the fast walkers because the scooter is not slow and I am not walking at all. But Dragan convinced me that I needed to be with the slow walkers. Bad choice since A was with me.

We passed an extensive Wednesday market,
Arles markets

Arles markets


and then fields of rice and sunflowers
Sunflowers from the bus

Sunflowers from the bus


and melon which was under a clear plastic covering (and I didn't get a photo of them) before we got to the bird sanctuary.
Camargue farm from the bus

Camargue farm from the bus

Entrance to the park

Entrance to the park

Map of the park

Map of the park


The guide was explaining the ecology - there was a disabled stork there that couldn't fly and the guide gave them a swift that she had found half dead for them to revive. (lots of luck with that)
Yellow flowers

Yellow flowers


There were egrets and great blue herons,
Great blue heron

Great blue heron

Herons

Herons


Flamingos

Flamingos


and nutria.

Nutria are a South American rodent which are an invasive species in the US, first imported for food. I don't understand why the European park would harbor them. I didn't actually see any but my granddaughter did. Nutria

Nutria


But when I got out on the path, it was sand and it was too deep for the scooter - it just dug itself in instead of going forward. So I went back and sat in the shade and A did the trail by herself. She came running back and took my camera because she said there was an owl who was really cool, and she took some photos of him (or her)
Owl through the fence

Owl through the fence

Owl

Owl

Owl in a cave

Owl in a cave

Owl

Owl


We got back on the bus,

White horses from the bus

White horses from the bus

and went to a little walled town of Aigues-Mortes
City gate

City gate


which one of the Louis had a church built there. I would have stayed on the bus, but they told me that I could not. So I went in and went the length of the shopping street with the guide.
Shopping street

Shopping street


We had 40 minutes of free time, but my back was hurting and it was hot, so I went into the church and lay down on a bench for about 20 minutes,
Chapel

Chapel

Ceiling of the chapel

Ceiling of the chapel


and then I went back down the shopping street and waited for the bus.
City wall

City wall

Park

Park


On the way back we stopped at a field of sunflowers and A took my camera and got off the bus to take photos of them.
Sunflower backs my photo from the bus

Sunflower backs my photo from the bus

Backs of sunflowers

Backs of sunflowers

Sunflowers in the field

Sunflowers in the field

Sunflower

Sunflower

Single sunflower

Single sunflower


By the time we got back, they had moved the boat so we could get on the regular way. We went to lunch and I had mussels (although some of them I couldn't open them to get them out), and bouillabaisse which had shrimp, fish and a piece of bread in it, and then most of us had lemon tart
for dessert.

A went on the Van Gogh walking tour this afternoon. We have our last dinner tonight and then we pack and leave tomorrow morning.

For dinner I had a
Mixed leaf mozzarella salad

Mixed leaf mozzarella salad

Beef tenderloin

Beef tenderloin

Chocolate souffle

Chocolate souffle

,
We did get packed although my suitcase was quite heavy. I put my pocketbook into it, and just had the computer bag to carry. But that was heavy too

Posted by greatgrandmaR 16:18 Archived in France Comments (2)

A Hot July 4th in Transit

A/C not keeping up


View 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

We were to vacate our rooms by 9 and we actually left at 8 and went to breakfast. A had a big breakfast including the biggest croissant you ever saw
Large croissant

Large croissant


because she was thinking that in Spain she might have to be on a gluten free diet again. We were to have our bags out this morning and they were collected and then we were to identify them before they were put on the truck to go to Barcelona.
Rhone in Arles

Rhone in Arles


We got on the blue bus.
Arles monument

Arles monument


This was another one of those deals where we should have just been hung from a sky hook until time for the train. We were to get the train at Nimes, so we drove from Arles to Nimes. Our train tickets were apparently one big group ticket, so they gave us "fake tickets" that they had printed up with our car and seat number on them.

Our guide gave us a tour of Nimes (denim is from de Nimes) starting with the colosseum. This is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatre in the world. It is among the 20 largest roman amphitheatres of the 400 in existence. In roman times, the building could hold 24.000 spectators.
Colosseum

Colosseum


The reason that it was so well preserved our guide told us was that it was filled with medieval housing, when its walls served as ramparts. But they were cleared under Napoleon. It is still used as a bull fighting and concert arena.
Cute bulls on the colosseum

Cute bulls on the colosseum


The guide showed us the Nimes crocodile statue and explained that while Nimes does not have crocodiles, that Napoleon gave land to his soldiers in Nimes and those soldiers were the ones that were victorious in Egypt.
Nimes crocodile chained to base of a palm

Nimes crocodile chained to base of a palm


The palm tree is an old Roman symbol for victory, while the crocodile represents Egypt.
Crocodile and palm logo in the pavement

Crocodile and palm logo in the pavement


We went into the City Hall (I had to go in another entrance).
Blue bus Guide in the city hall

Blue bus Guide in the city hall


The town hall had a stuffed croc suspended from the ceiling and also a map of the old Roman City.
Map in the town hall

Map in the town hall


Freaks Rock Store

Freaks Rock Store

Construction worker

Construction worker


We walked through the streets
Nîmes Cathedral partly Romanesque and partly Gothic in style.

Nîmes Cathedral partly Romanesque and partly Gothic in style.

Clock tower- a very tall landmark

Clock tower- a very tall landmark


And he showed us the way we would have to go to get to where the bus would stop. One of our group walking by the
Maison de la Brandade

Maison de la Brandade


Brandade is a local dish which is an emulsion of salt cod and olive oil eaten in winter with bread or potatoes. There are salt cod in the window
Maison Carrée

Maison Carrée


He called this the Parthenon - it was one of the best preserved temples to be found anywhere in the territory of the former Roman Empire. Its preservation is due to the edifice's conversion to a church in the 4th century. He left us at a big market (Les Halles de Nimes)
Entrance to the market

Entrance to the market


like Lexington Market in Baltimore with market stalls of local produce.
Inside the market

Inside the market


We were to meet the bus again at 12:20. I went to sit in the park where we were to meet. The bull is the work of the Georgian sculptor Djoti Bjalava. This is a fighting bull 4 meters long and 2 meters high.
Bull statue Toros, on the esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle

Bull statue Toros, on the esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle


A went back into the market to buy some honey and also got herself a baguette. I did not realize that the guide would not be with us at the train station and I failed to have money to tip him. He was a good guide

I was worried about making the train because it only stops for a couple of minutes. And then we had a chinese fire drill at the train station. First we were to be on platform C.
Nimes train station on the wrong platform

Nimes train station on the wrong platform


We all got up to platform C - then they changed it to platform B. We all had to go down the steps (or in the case of people with walkers, wheelchairs or scooters - elevator which held maybe 4 people), and then find the elevator for platform B and go up that elevator. Dragan said he would come back for us but he was held up by an officious RR lady so we went up the elevator without his reassurance to the B platform. I did not know where A was until I got there, as she had not gone with me.

We did all manage to get on the train which was a double decker. My computer and A's backpack were too big for the overhead compartment so they were stuffed under our seats. We were in seats that were facing other seats and I think we would have had more room for our feet with seats that were single. A went and got me a cheese sandwich for lunch but it was terminally soggy - I hate soggy bread.
Soggy cheese sandwich

Soggy cheese sandwich


Train stopped

Train stopped


We got about a hour into the journey when we were stopped at the Montpellier for about an hour. The train schedule on my phone said we would be 55 minutes late. The A/C was either not running when the train was sitting still, or was extremely anemic. So it was hot.
88738890-b568-11e9-a2ef-0bf42674c15c.JPGFrom the train

From the train

Barcelona train station

Barcelona train station


We got to Barcelona about 6:15 when we should have been there before 5.

A is comparing Barcelona to Paris, and of course Paris was completely redone in the 18th century with wide streets and vistas, and it is unlike most any other European city in that respect. (Also of course coming in at the train station it was not the greatest part of town)

We finally got to the hotel and I realized that other people were getting handicapped rooms, and I was not. I do not know why as they certainly knew I had a scooter. I said I wanted a shower with a seat and twin beds. As before they had no rooms with showers that had twin beds. So they gave us (what is probably a better room) a room which had a double bed with TWO bedside tables
Hotel bed with A's backpack

Hotel bed with A's backpack


and they brought in a rollaway.
Bathroom with extra lighting- there is a magnifying mirror which has a blue switch to turn the light on it on

Bathroom with extra lighting- there is a magnifying mirror which has a blue switch to turn the light on it on


But there was a severe problem figuring out how I could have a seat in the shower. The hotel is too upper class to have such a thing as a plastic chair. They finally gave me one which has a leather seat covering.

We have to use the room key for the lights in the room and also for the elevator. When they showed us this room, they put a room key into the slot by the door, and eventually gave us another key which A took. She has been using her key to do the elevator.

We were too tired to go out to dinner so we ordered room service. I had a Caesar salad and ice cream. My daughter had googled about gluten in the rest of Europe and had texted A that she could probably also eat bread in Spain so she ordered a brownie in addition. She ate a bite of brownie and it was good. So she ate the rest.
My granddaughters brownie from room service

My granddaughters brownie from room service

I had wanted to get a shower after we arrived all hot and sticky, but was too tired and was falling asleep, so I waited until morning. I felt much better after. I carefully wipe off the leather chair as I was drying myself.

Our sleep schedule is still completely messed up - A is taking benadryl (she says she is allergic to European cities but I think it is probably just tree pollen) so she is groggy. She slept some on the train yesterday but I didn't. We often (if we don't have an afternoon tour) fall asleep in the afternoon and then we aren't sleepy and stay up late, and then A is hard to wake up in the morning. It is just like with Barbara (my sister) - she always stayed in bed and made me use the bathroom first. But this time it isn't a problem for me as I now like to get in the bathroom first.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:39 Archived in Spain Comments (2)

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