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More sights than you can shake a sword at!

We spent two days at Carcassonne.  It was better in many ways than we expected.  A living piece of history, even if it was restored/reconstructed in the 1800s.  There has been a fortress on that spot for thousands of years.  There are even some roman towers still part of the wall.  It’s essentially a small city inside double walls.  An amazing fortress.  We’re learning a lot about the middle ages!

After two days there, we headed toward Provence. A friend we met on the retreat met up with us in Carcassonne, and we drove with her east.  As soon as we saw the glimmer of the mediterannean ocean, we found the first beach and played in the waves all afternoon.

We then ended up in a most amazing little town called Pezenas.  A little bastide town (former walled town) that is now full of artists and almost entirely pedestrianized.  Little twisty streets with a surprise restaurant, artist gallery, or workshop around every turn.  We had the best meal of the trip here, and the worst hotel.

Next we reach Arles, where our friend heads off, and we dive in to the rich sights the area has to offer.  Lots (and lots) of Roman stuff, amphitheaters, theaters, baths, etc.  We’re learning a lot!  We also took a drive down to the Carmargue, a large marshy delta with horse and bull farms, and lots of birds, including flamingoes.  We also spent some time at the beach again.

Yesterday we spent pretty much the whole day at Pont du Gard, a huge aqueduct bridge.  An amazing feat of engineering, still standing after 2000 years! 

Today we spent time in Nimes (pronounced Neem), which is where the word “denim” comes from.  It was the cloth “de Nimes”: from Nimes.  Then this afternoon we watched bull races, where brave young men run ahead of a bull and try to pull something off that is hanging between its horns. We were on the edges of our stone seats (in a 2000 year old roman amphitheater)!

after 6 nights in Arles (wow, those went by fast!) we head a little east and do a few more sights in the area.  I wish we could have gone farther east, to Aix en Provence, Monaco, Nice, etc.  But there just isn’t time…  Friday we head up to Paris for a week, though we’ll be doing some day trips from there too: Versailles, Giverny, Brittany.

We’re going to need a rest from our vacation when we get home!

By the way, my palm pilot got accidentally broken on the trip, so if you aren’t getting post cards or emails, that is, unfortunately, why.

3 Comments on “More sights than you can shake a sword at!”

  1. #1 Lisa Seaman
    on Aug 17th, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    I can see why you’ll need a vacation from your vacation when you get back. Sounds wonderful though! I’d like to hear more about the best meal and worst hotel. I’m going down to the Pearl Street Mile tonight. I’ll be thinking of you all.

    cheers,
    Lisa

  2. #2 Nori Bourutt
    on Aug 19th, 2006 at 7:24 am

    Your mom sent me the link to this blog, and Jon, I would like to be a fly on your car’s windshield….on second thoughts… no, the front passenger seat sounds good.
    As a young French teacher I did a lot of touring in France, it doesn’t sound like there have been many changes.
    I hope that you will have a good time in and aroun d Paris…. there is sooo much to see.
    Have a good trip home-safe and I will be thinking of you as you start back to school and work and friends and family who have missed you.
    Nori

  3. #3 Sara Olson
    on Aug 21st, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    Sounds wonderful! So good to hear your voice today and can’t wait to hear all about your trip when you are home! Sorry to hear about your Palm–you’ll have to get another one when you are back, because I know you are lost without it! Safe travels!

    Love and prayers,
    Sara and Doug

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