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Day 3: Nîmes

We woke up after our second and final night somehow having fitted in rewarding visits to three new cities in the 36 hours or so since we'd got off the plane. We could ease in to today knowing that even though we were going home, it wasn't until the afternoon, which made our decision for us; had it been the evening, we'd have no doubt found another location or two to visit, but this way we would stay in Nîmes.

Our initial project was to source breakfast. We hadn't had a meal the evening before and so were hungry, and since this is France, then a fresh breakfast wouldn't be a hard thing to find. Well, it would've been an easy task had I not decided to overcomplicate things. You see, I knew exactly where there were several bakeries, one of which was a two-minute walk away. But since this we were in a hotel rather than an apartment and didn't have access to a kettle, I thought it would be nicer to get breakfast outside than bring back the freshly baked fare to our coffeeless place of residence. And when we checked in, the nice lady at reception, having picked up on my frugal nature, advised me of a lovely place to get breakfast on the cheap. The only slight problem was that although she could tell the name of it, she couldn't be any more than vague about the location, other than "up there somewhere". We set off anyway.

Our success rivalled that of the previous night; we had to walk and walk with sight neither of this bargain breakfasting oasis, nor of anywhere in general to eat. We eventually found a cafe and agreed to compromise, buying a coffee from there and then buying the breakfast from the mini market next door. Well, that turned out to be extremely small, and so "breakfast" consisted of cookies. It wasn't all negative though; there were a few small market stalls opposite, and so I picked up a few books on the cheap. And then we headed homeward and picked up something from the bakery next door which I'd originally opted not to use anyway.

Checking out was a piece of cake, since we only had our backpacks. Travelling light definitely is useful, allowing us to visit our planned destination, the Jardins de la Fontaine, without the incumberance of a suitcase.

Ironically, finding the gardens wasn't a difficult task; we'd just trodden the same streets trying to track down breakfast. A little further and we'd have ended up there. It was clear when we had arrived:


And what a spectacular sight awaited us as we walked past the fountains and through the gates:


The artwork was exquisite:


We climbed up the gentle slopes and sat down for a quick read in the shade, the sun having come out to greet us. We were treated to a beautiful view of greenery from our position:


Having plenty of time left we decided to follow the trail evermore upwards, which presented us with a very nice surprise against the brilliant blue sky:


Clare had noticed on our first day the speck of a tower on the horizon but we had no idea of the existence of the Tour Magne, until it jumped out at us!

We decided to descend taking a different route and chanced upon the Temple of Diane:



And with that came the end of our short break to Nîmes. We walked off in the direction of the train station, stopping for lunch and a final pichet of wine on the way. What a lovely way to spend the bank holiday; we returned home to gloom and rain (and muddy pawprints), and so this was clearly the right decision ... and one that we'll be reliving in three weeks' time when we head to Sweden for a few days for the next bank holiday!

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