Beth's Grossly Negligent Gap Year travel blog

The arena in Nimes. This picture shows where they have started to...

Typical cured meat shop

A view of typical place in Nimes

View down the esplanade from the gare (station)

Gare de Nimes


Here's the bus map where I got dumped off in Nimes

I've seen a lot of these!


I found a short cut from my Marseille apartment to the station and arrived early for my 0730 Ouibus ride to Nimes which is a town in Provence. The bus cost 5€ for a 1 1/2 hour ride. I thought I'd be let off at the Gare (main station) but no. I was dumped off in the middle of nowhere. I spied a bus stop shelter so figured I could catch a local bus to the city center. Correct! So my original plan was to go directly to the tourist info office to find out where I could leave my bag (I was unsuccessful finding this info online - everyone said there wasn't a luggage hold) for the day. But my plan was screwed up by a very cute outdoor cafe that beckoned me for a cappuccino and a croissant. After, I found the tourist info office and obtained not only directions to a hotel (Hotel Abalon right next to the Gare) that would keep my bag for 5€ but a nice map.

I always recommend stopping at the tourist info office (sometimes in the station or airport) first thing when you arrive to a new town. You can get a free map of the city and general info. Like where you can leave your bag. Also, I always mark my hotel or apartment with a big X so I know where I live. This is especially helpful after wine o'clock.

Nimes is a very nice town. Clean beautiful and friendly. I had a nice Plat du Jour for lunch consisting of a small steak, frites, ratatouille and green salad. The waitress asked if I wanted my steak medium or well and I said no, medium rare please. She smiled and said ah bon most English like it more cooked. I wanted to tell her I'm not English but I held my tongue in deference to the two English sitting nearby. You see, I have never thought much of the English way about meat especially after our 2008 Mediterranean cruise that I went on with Matthew and my parents. The chef on that cruise was English and I specifically recall my mother (who was an exceptionally talented cook) sending back her meat many times in a single night because it was terrible. I did too. Whoever the meat purveyor was for that boat chose cheap cuts of meat. Who cares if you cook it well done - there's no taste left in it anyways. So the predominantly English crowd on the boat never knew. However, if you cook a cheap cut medium rare, the fat doesn't render down so you get a mouthful of gristle. But I digress and now I've offended anyone from England. (Sorry, but we did defeat you as a bunch of farmers with pitchforks anyways. Oops insult number two. And I haven't even had a drink yet!!). Anyways, my medium rare steak was tasty here in Nimes and the entire plate at 9.90€ was a good deal.

In France, most restaurants have a plat du jour (plate of the day) which is the special of the house and the best deal. Sometimes a plat involves a choice of an entree (which is the appetizer), a plat (the main course), and a dessert or a beverage. You just have to read their sign posted out front to see what they offer. I've noticed this trip that the advertisement is often times called a "suggestion". On to Uzes.

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