Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Joe-6 Nimes

Friday June 11, 2010. The day of the scavenger hunt for the group. It began shortly after lunch, which we ate at a restaurant beyond the Arc d’Triumph at a sandwich and burger place. I had skewers of beef that were okay that were served with fries. After everyone had paid and some corrections were made to the questions (the market they thought would be open wasn’t), we were handed the seat and broke off into different groups. I was in a group with Kalen and Becca. While other groups ran off, we sat down and went through the questions. As they were all in French we relied on Becca to translate and then we would try to answer them as she translated the answer into French. Unfortunately while the day started off too hot, it quickly got cool and started to rain. My group only got about halfway through the questions before the rain and the cold beat us. We eventually went into a café and drak a glass of wine or hot chocolate and watched first some world cup and then French commercials. Then we went back to the IMLS and waited for the other groups, who all did significantly more than we did, to get back. As the weather had made it impossible for us to have the picnic that had been planned, we instead were lead to a tapas restaurant where I had fried calamari and paella. The calamari was amazing, but the rice in the paella was a little dry and I had to squeeze a lot of lemon juice on it to give it moisture. Once I did that however, the paella was good. After dinner we stayed and watched the France versus Uruguay, which proved to be a boring game, without much action or a score as the game ended in a tie. I didn’t even have a team playing and that game reinforced the old saying “A tie is like kissing you sister”.
When my alarm went off early Saturday morning, I wanted to do nothing but stay in bed. Friday had been a long and exhausting day. But I had to get up and get over to the bus station around nine to meet up with the group to board the bus. The bus ride was not that bad as I remembered my ipod and I listened to it the whole time, having to turn up the volume to drown out Jeremy. He was going on about some history and it seemed like we had heard it before. We arrived at Nimes and began to have a short tour of the city that brought us to an absolutely horrible 22 minute long 3D video from Hell as well as the Nimes amphitheatre which had a lot of steps to climb up but had some really cool views, and then to a church that had started out Romanesque but the additions were Gothic. By far the best thing was the amphitheatre, but really I did not see anything that justified the time and effort it took to get out to Nimes. For lunch I satisfied my withdrawal and had a steak. It was alright, but it paled to most of the steaks I have had in the states.
After lunch we went to Pont du Gard. It is the ancient remains of the aqueduct that brought water about 50 kms to Nimes. The really impressive thing about it is that the water source is only 12 meters higher than Nimes. Most of the aqueduct is long gone as locals had taken stones from it to build their homes, but a small portion still stands today. We listened to Jeremy talk about the aqueduct with Dr Pelley translating, but I was too tired to really notice. I walked around the area for a little while and it was beautiful. Before the trip back Jeremy gave us all a plastic cup of wine and a cookie, which while hard, was very good. Then it was back on the bus for a long trip back, with Jeremy playing and singing again and this time a very annoying round of a harmonica. Once we got back a grabbed a quick dinner with planning to go watch the world cup thereafter, but was too tired to do so.

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