Nîmes notes

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

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Nîmes, seen from the highway A9

fromA9When driving to Nîmes from Montpellier direction, it is the tall apartment blocks of Pissevin area, that you see first.


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La fanfare à cheval

garde républicaineThe last major event of the feria, apart from the last corrida of course, was the parade of the orchestra of the Republigan Guard. Yes, the one that you can see normally (on TV) in Paris, on Bastille Day, for example.

We had already seen them perform at the Arènes the night before, and were so impressed that we came to see them again on Monday. And the parade was really magnificent – and for the first time I saw that the audience was marching along with the parade! All the way to the Jardins de la Fontaine. A superb ending for the feria.


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Course camarguaise

course camarguaiseYesterday the sun finally came back! And what we went to see, was the course camarguaise at Place Picasso next to the Jardins de la Fontaine. Here they were small cows, not bulls, and the raseteurs were still apprentices, coming from the raseteur school of Sommieres. So what’s the trick? In the cow’s/bulls horns are tied rosettes and strings, which the raseteur wearing white shirts are trying to take off. And that’s not easy! The raseteurs have to be aware of the sharp horns (here covered, though) and the power of its competitor. You can see amazing leaps when they jump to the fences when fleeing from the cow/bull!

This is a very old tradition in the area, and both young and adult love it. If you have a chance, go and see it!


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abrivadoAlthough many of the events were cancelled today due to the heavy rain, the evening abrivado was not. The idea is, that the gardians (cowboys of Camargue) lead the galloping young bulls through the crowds, and the adventurous young men try to stop the bull by pulling its horns and tail. The bull, although young, is much, much stronger than the boys, so it needs much man power to stop the bull.

And the gardians – including a lady gardian – are so handsome in their traditional costumes! Not to mention the beauty of their horses…

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La Pegoulade of Feria de Pentecôte 2013


La pegoulade is the parade that opens the Feria of Nîmes. This year the theme was the mysterious miracles of the Mediterranean, which included the giant of Rhodes, hanging gardens of Babylon, lighthouse of Alexandria and the pyramid of Kheops. With the last years magnificent crocodile of Nîmes! And of course much more, from local traditions to contemporary music. It was raining lightly, but it didn’t matter much. Here some pictures taken last night from along the parade:

Traditional costumes, dancing and music...

Traditional costumes, dancing and music…

A disco bus with musicians (inspired by Kubrick's Clockwork orange?)...

A disco bus with musicians (inspired by Kubrick’s Clockwork orange?)…

The lighthouse of Alexandria...

The lighthouse of Alexandria…

Docte college des consuls de Nîmes...

Docte college des consuls de Nîmes…

pegoulade, pyramide de kheops

The pyramide of Kheops was dragged by slaves and celebrated by the ladies of the harem…

And here's the pyramide...

And here’s the pyramide…

pegoulade: hanging gardens of babylone

The hanging gardens of Babylone

And the gardens were also singing!

… which were singing!

And last but not least: the giant of Rhodes

And last but not least: the giant of Rhodes.

It really was giant!

It really was gigantic!

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Quiet feria day

The 61st Feria de Pentecôte of Nîmes has started! First events were held in the morning, aand in the evening the first corrida. Otherwise it’s still quiet. I went for a short walk in the Jardins and the city center and took a few photos. The real thing starts from tomorrow, so far everything is more or less in a waiting mode.