Nîmes notes

a picture diary from a Roman town in the south of France

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The trambus of Nîmes

trambusThe ending station of the Nîmes trambus is in front of the Arènes.

The trambus is a combination of – as you can guess from the name – a tram and a bus. No rails needed, looks like a long bus, but otherwise the concept comes from a tram. And having now tested it once (no, twice, I went back and forth), it works!

In my humble opinion, the route is much more clear than those of the busses. It’s also fairly fast, and also frequent (at least during the day). It’s not as silent as the modern trams, but it’s supposed to be more environment friendly – the tram bus doesn’t use gasoline or diesel, but electricity. The ride cost one euro, and you can purchase the ticket when entering. Just don’t forget to stamp it!

Some people of course criticize the meaning and the cost (79 million euros) of a new type of bus which has (so far) just one line. It circulates between the Arènes and the commercial centre near the highway entrance. New lines are planned, of course.

Well, I don’t say anything to that. Just that I liked my ride. I will post during the next few days a few pictures taken in and from the bus.

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Side entrance of Jardins de la Fontaine

gateThis is one of the side entrances of Jardins de la Fontaine. There are other ones on the other side of the gardens, but this one is the nearest when coming from the city center. The steps are, however, in a very bad shape, so its advisable to use one of the two main entrances.

This one is anyway close to the children’s playgrounds and also the square with the Lebanon cedar tree, and I find it quite handy.

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Concrete wood railings

steps002When you leave the square with the Lebanon cedar towards the side exit of Jardins de la Fontaine, you will take these steps down. The railings are not wood, despite the outlook, but concrete (béton in French). This was very popular and I guess a bit fashionable style in the 19th century, to imitate the nature with concrete structures. And what’s interesting, they do look like wood! Just that the colour is grey.

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The new Lebanon cedar of Jardins de la Fontaine

treeHere’s another picture from the end of September – although it looks pretty much same even in November, as these trees are evergreen.

The place is Jardins de la Fontaine, one of the most beautiful gardens of France. This part of the garden is a little forgotten, however. It’s a fairly large and calm square, with benches on the sides. The tree in the middle is a cedar tree that replaced the original 300 year old cedar of Lebanon that was destroyed a couple of years ago by heavy snow that fell suddenly in spring.

I was there the day before the tragedy. The wind was blowing very strongly, and the old tree that covered the square with its branches like a huge umbrella, made quite scary creaking sounds. We hurried up at the time, as it really sounded like it was coming down. During the night came the snow, and the next day the gardens were closed. Several trees had fallen, among them the old cedar tree. It was the year of the gardens 300th birthday, and the cedar tree had been one of the first trees to planted! So, it was a shame, but a tree has its life span. Now we just wait for the new cedar to grow as grand as the previous.