THURSDAY - we travelled to Nimes, not using the motorway very much, but pootling through the countryside. We stopped for lunch at one of our favourite spots (Aix & Terra) where I had Terrine Black-and-white (goats' cheese and marscapône with a fig chutney) followed by an enormous salade Niçoise, full of olivey, anchovy-y goodness. In fact it was so big I couldn't finish it! But, of course, I have a "pudding stomach" and managed to fit a tasty little Café Gourmande in - a coffee with a few tasting size desserts. There was a pannacotta, some tiny madeleines and a palmier biscuit smothered in Speculoos/chocolate spread. Miam-miam.
We reached Isabelle's where we were staying overnight, and hazd a dip in her swimming pool. Then we went into Nimes for our concert. We weren't sure where to park, and of course there was a lot of traffic, so we decided to park about 2 km from the centre (free parking!) and walk in. it only took about 20 minutes so it seemed like a good idea. We bought a sandwich for our tea and then went into the Arena. It was amazing!
Here is the arena as it was filling up with people
And here it is during the finale of "Comfortably Numb"
After the recent events in Nice I felt a little insecure, but really it isn't possible to think like that. There were plenty of police and security in attendance, so I had to trust to that, and remember that, in fact, Europe is a safer place to be now, in regard to terrorist action, than in the 80s. It was a superb evening, and quite honestly I was so involved in the music that I forgot my misgivings.
I think our car parking idea paid dividends now, as the Arena seats upward of 16,000 people. Now I know that about a third was taken up with stage, but that still leaves about 10,000 people all leaving (and probably trying to leave the car park) at the same time. We scooted out of the arena as soon as David Gilmour had finished his encore, so we were already ahead of the crowds, (I'm glad about that as I'm not too stable on badly lit, uneven stone steps!) and I think that by parking out of the centre we probably got away before many of those who had parked closer - even after our walk back to the car!
FRIDAY: The plan was to go for a walk and then have another dip in the pool before leaving, but it poured with rain. Instead we sat and chatted with Danièle (Isabelle's mum, who is a good friend of ours) and then went and bought some wine.
As you can see, it's not quite swimming weather!
Danièle prepared a lovely meal, of tomato and mozzarella salad, daube with red rice from the Camargue, and then peach sorbet. Very enjoyable.
We drove down to just outside Aix to the B&B that we had booked. I'd been a bit dubious,as the website wasn't very informative, but in fact it was very comfortable (except for the fact the toilet was in a tiny room that neither of us could stand upright in, and it didn't have a door. There was only a curtain separating it from the bedroom. Not very comfortable.)
We only wanted a snack for dinner, but actually ended up with something a bit bigger...
Very yummy though!
It was at a little shack-like snackbar called Le Boomerang.
But it was very clean (the toilets were immaculate!) and served good beer
(looking like I've had one too many beers!!)
We went for a walk in the forest around the B&B - it wasn't a great walk, being a bit same-y, but it was good to get a bit of exercise...
Mr FD looks very severe in this photo!
The highest village in Bouches-du-Rhone: Mimet
Get a move on, woman!
After the walk we drove to Aix, and bought a sandwich for lunch. The plan had been to walk round the town, admiring fountains (there are over 100 in the town) but it started to rain again...
I liked the wine cooler carefully placed to get the benefit of the cold water!)
Finally it got so wet we decided to go to the cinema!! We saw "Florence Foster Jenkins" which was very good.
After the film we went for a stroll, trying to be upbeat about the weather, but we gave in finally, stopped for a coffee, and then decided to go back to Mimet to book into the restaurant there for dinner. Though we did pause to take a photo of this street sign
I'd quite like to live on Rue Rifle-Rafle!
However, continuing our luck, the restaurant was fully booked for a wedding party, and we couldn't find anywhere else in the vicinity (bizarrely!) However, we finally stumbled on a reasonably pleasant looking restaurant, where I had...
Baked camembert with honey and walnuts.
pumet de cochon - not sure what cut of pork this is, but it was certainly good!
then Carpaccio of pineapple with a mango ice cream.
SUNDAY: We had an enjoyable breakfast, sitting in the sunshine, and chatting with the owner. Then we said Goodbye to the blind dog
(who didn't seem too bothered!)
And we drove home. We bought some picnic food on the way back;, which we ate in a motorway service area, but we were home by about 4.00. It had been a lovely break.