Tag: Roman games

living in the south of france

Living in the South of France

There’s nothing ordinary about living in the South of France. Especially in the spring. There’s always a festival , a brocante, a party or something extraordinary going on.

Here are a few snippets on “living in the South of France” in the month of May.

Lunch with friends

Now that everyone who has been away from Uzès for the winter is back, meeting friends for lunch is a must for catching up. Even though there were eight of us, the little backstreet cafe, La Boca, was perfect for our Saturday get together.

Ever eaten couteaux? They’re razor clams that were featured at La Boca.

Living in the South of France

Couteaux – Razor Clams

Roman Games in Nimes 

Each May in nearby NImes, there is a historic reenactment staged in the ancient arena. It’s world class. The Great Roman Games are presented just as they were 2000 years ago — chariot races, gladiators, Roman dignitaries and all.

This year the theme was “Barbarian Kings.” Romans and barbarian battles that raged throughout this area from 113 to 101 BC were brilliantly recreated during the 2+ hour show. The production crew that moved seemingly effortless on the arena floor constructed a near-lifesize fortress, a village market, and a realistic representation of the port in Marseille. For a snippet, view the video below.

Shopping at IKEA

My new apartment in Uzès is far from furnished as I’d like it. Moving from “Rapunzel’s Tower” to my ground-level flat was harder than I thought. In just five years, I accumulated a lot of stuff that’s not going to fit. Yet, I’m still shopping.

Living in the south of France, I’ve learned the French love IKEA. I haven’t checked IKEA in the US lately, but the store in Avignon is different and better than any I’ve seen. Right now shelving and storage for my kitchen is my priority.

Interestingly, when you rent an apartment in France, it doesn’t always come equipped with a complete kitchen. Sometimes there’s just a sink. Occasionally, there’s not even a sink. So renters have to create their own “cuisines.” You can take whatever you’ve bought with you to your next rental.

The kitchen in my first apartment was tiny. It had a sink, a cooktop and little or no storage. The new kitchen has bottom cabinets, a cooktop and an exhaust fan. Anything else that I want in the space, I have to purchase and have installed. Fortunately IKEA has good designs and affordable prices on kitchen fittings. Now to find the time to get it done.

What do you think of this?

living in the south of france

Renewing my Carte de Sejour

Yes, it’s that time of year … again. My appointment at the Prefecture in NImes to renew my carte de sejour was this week. Thank goodness for Renestance! Jennifer is so familiar with the people and the process at the Prefecture that it’s getting to be a breeze. That is, if you call pulling together a snapshot of your life and finances to present for your card simple.

This was my fifth year going through the French requirement for my 12-month visa. My compliments to the Nimes Prefecture this go round. They’ve figured out how to move people through the system. Perhaps it’s because of the number of Brits coming through the system due to Brexit.

Note: Tell Renestance the Barefoot Blogger sent you for a 10% discount! 

Best Steak in Town

Dining out at one of the restaurants in town is one of my favorite pastimes. I prefer not to eat alone. Ordering steak is something I’ve learned not to do. Generally, the beef that’s served is tasteless and chewy. Now there’s a new place in town for a really good steak — Paul and Cow. It’s so new it’s not on Tripadvisor. Don’t ask me why it’s not called Paul and Vache? Whatever … I don’t have to wait to go back to Atlanta for a good steak.

living in the south of france


Market Day in Uzès

What’s a week in Uzès without a visit to the Saturday Market? Just getting there is half the thrill. Yes, I do love living in the south of France.

Hope you had a great week too!

living in the south of france

Nimes Arena: The Great Roman Games

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Imagine revisiting the Roman Games of Augustus Caesar’s time. Now place yourself in the very spot where the “games” were actually held. Then add the fanfare, color and a raving crowd. Such just happened this weekend in the Arena in Nimes, France.

Battle reenactments are popular in the States. In fact, I’ve enjoyed going to a few while living near Washington, DC and Richmond. Our re-creations go back  to the battlefields of the American Revolution. Also to the mid-1800’s to revisit the “War Between the States” (or as Southerners say: “The War of Northern Aggression).

A chance to see over 400 actors from France, Germany and Italy relive the Roman games from 2000 years ago, was an event too good to miss.

The first Roman Emperor and founder of Nîmes, Emperor Augustus died in 14 AD — 2000 years ago. The re-enactment in Nimes commemorates his death and stages the Roman Games in Nimeevents that led to the accession of Augustus to the highest position in the Roman Empire — Emperor.

Fortunately my visitors from North Carolina were here to join in on the adventure.

The Venue

Nimes Arena

Arena in Nimes France

Imagine a Roman Arena — the best preserved in the world today. Now imagine gladiators, horses and chariots running through the halls and tunnels of the arena, then running out before the crowd in the amphitheater.

The Event

The reenactment honored the death of Augustus Caesar 2000 years ago. In a variety of scenes, it told the story — all in French — of the events that led up to the rise of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor and founder of Nîmes.

The program, with all its granduer, vividly demonstrated the passion and excitement of the times: Emperor’s parades, military parades, gladiatorial combats and chariot races.

The death of Julius Caesar and the reconstruction of the great Battle of Philippi were the final attractions.

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The Death of Julius Caesar
The Battle of Philippi

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Back to Modern Times

Meanwhile, back on main street, Nimes. The old and the new meld together seamlessly. 

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