Day 9 — Aix-en-Provence, Nîmes

The Plan (the whole Plan)
Day 9 : Wed 30 May : Marseilles, inter alia to see Rupert onto a plane after lunch.

In spite of a very good write-up in the guidebook, Aix didn't impress us all that much. Quite pretty narrow streets filled with all the usual shops. A cathedral that was probably quite good but which shut for lunch so we missed it. The usual quotient of overblown statuary and ornamental fountains. A museum of tapestry which actually only contained one set of tapestries and a random selection of theatrical bits and bobs. And a tree-lined main drag which uses a large rock as a roundabout, into which some guy had driven his camper van.

The Occitan plod try to sort things out.

Rupert had not assembled either enough annual leave or husband points to do the whole tour, so this was his last day. We last heard from him in Sydney, from where he sent us the following message:

1) The Louvre makes the Palazzo Vecchio look like a council house where the kids have drawn on the wall in crayon
2) I have no pictures from the inside since I simply assumed they wouldn't allow cameras. In fact it's on a room-by-room basis.
3) I have Humble's postcards. Hopefully this means that he has mine. If so, could you please mail them?[1][2]
4) If you get dog crap on your shoes in Aix, but tell Aussie customs that you've been to a vineyard, they'll wash them for you
5) BA stick random bits of metal across the backs of their seats to irritate your shins if you try to stretch your legs out.

So which way is New Zealand, then?

And so to Nîmes. We arrived in time to do a quick recce of the place, and wandered round some Roman remains on which large numbers of teenagers were hanging around. The amphitheatre looked the best bet and so we decided to leave that until tomorrow.

Lounging teenagers congregate here.

So we looked for somewhere to eat. We found a Tex-Mex whose name we forget, which is probably the best thing. After about an hour and a half, by which time the tapas had arrived but the second round of drinks still hadn't, we left a fair sum on the table and cleared off. This being the south of France, we immediately found an Irish pub serving Belgian beer. And as it had, by that time, started to rain heavily, it was obviously completely impossible for us to leave the pub, so we reluctantly had another round ... and another ... and ... well, you don't want to read about us getting pissed again. We'll have something better for you tomorrow, honest.

[1] We suspect, in fact, that it means that David has lost Rupert's postcards [Back]

[2] We subsequently found that Rupert had his postcards all the time. So Lisa and the kids will be getting pictures of Florence with Aussie stamps on. [Back]