Monday, 7 June 2010

Nimes


















Bounjour tout le monde,

Just heard that it's 15 degs in Adelaide. Hope we are still getting some rain...but "frankly Charlotte, we don't give a dam!" (Not true at all.)

Saturday night we went to a fantastic restaurant recommended to us by the woman in my class. The meal began with the girls entree of a pot of warm goats cheese with walnuts and bacon, a petite jar of caramelized onion, toasted pain and a lightly dressed rocket salad. Myself, a dish with poached egg and grilled bacon, over which, the waiter poured chilled tomato soup. I know we should have stopped there BUT....Kate had grilled Mediterranean salmon with cream of basil sauce and Kim and I had Roasted lamb chops with herbs from Provence. To Kim's delight a large roasted potato accompanied with a grilled parmesan crusted tomato and salad. I know we should have stopped there BUT....Kate's dessert was a de-constructed citron tart layered in a glass with crumbled tart shell, citrus curd and fresh cream with meringue! Kim and I had a dish of two ice-cream filled profiteroles drizzled with melted dark chocolate!

Sunday we left early with Josh to catch the TGV to Nimes, a Roman town on the border of Languedoc and Provence. More ancient architecture including the best preserved Roman monuments in the world, an Arena/Amphitheatre that held 24,000 people on 34 tiered terraces. If those hours climbing the arena did not move last nights dinner, nothing will! We also visited an ancient temple where we watched a movie on the history of the Romans fighting in the arena in 3D. It really was Great!

We bought some baguettes and red wine from the boulangier and visited the Jardins de la Fontaine. This would have to be one of the highlights of our trip and a must see to anyone visiting France. We followed the aqua ducts to where ancient Roman thermal baths are built under the gardens. I hope the photos do justice, the gardens have an abundance of tall marble urns and statues. In different areas the towns folk had set up chairs to rest on. There were concerts, petanque players, music and childrens activities. The gardens included the ruins of the Temple Diana and hundreds of wide stairs leading to the highest parts of the gardens where we entered and climbed to the top of an old watchtower built by the celts as a sign of their strength, and for use as a lookout. If that didn't wear off last nights dinner......

The afternoon bought rain and we got pretty drenched. We checked out the winding streets and a market where we took part in some serious wine tasting before catching the last train home. We all loved Nimes, one day is just not enough.

At 8pm my hosts served smoked salmon on small crepes with crème fresh, afterwards, roast du canard in orange sauce (duck), with veg and then strawberries and ice-cream, of course all served with wine. Afterwards they invited us to watch Private Ryan.....In French of course! Josh fell asleep early, I just made midnight.

LOVE Ros, Kate and Kim xxx

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