Today we continued our journey after an early breakfast. It would be nice someday to return to the Gorges du Tarn area, there are so many opportunities for hiking, canoeing (apparently we didn’t get into the real ‘gorges’ area), and even motorcycle riding! We took a taxi to Mende and got on the train to head south to Nimes.
We arrived in Nimes and found a great little hotel very close to the train station, The Majestic Hotel. We relaxed for awhile inside to avoid the heat and humidity. We are in the south of France now and are getting the weather from the Mediterranean. In the late afternoon we went out to explore the city.
Just a short walk away we found the famous Roman Arena of Nimes.
The crocodile fountain is famous and linked inextricably to the history of Nimes. According to Wikipedia “The contemporary coat of arms of the city of Nîmes includes a crocodile chained to a palm tree with the inscription COLNEM, for Colonia Nemausus, meaning the ‘colony’ or ‘settlement’ of Nemausus, the local Celtic god of the Volcae Arecomici. Veterans of the Roman legions who had served Julius Caesar in his Nile campaigns, at the end of fifteen years of soldiering, were given plots of land to cultivate on the plain of Nîmes. The city does however have a rich Catholic history as well, attested to by the many churches.