Well, kinda good news – we got to Aigues-Mortes a bit faster than we were originally going to! We managed to skip a stop in the train with the help of some SNCF (the French train system) workers. Unfortunately, there really wasn’t much to show you this morning…
The stop we did take in Nîmes did have this pretty cool piano though. It’s just out there for anyone to play!
The view of Nîmes from the train station. Our stop was only about 30 minutes, so we didn’t have time to explore, but I really want to someday. Nîmes is known for having both Roman and Greek ruins (yes, the Geeks were here too!) and it seems like a very nice, pretty place to hang out for a while.
But we had to jump on the train because it was time to head south again to Aigues-Mortes! This is actually the view of the side of the city, but you know what I’m going to say: one of the main draws of Aigues-Mortes is the still fully walled off medieval town! All 4 walls, towers, and even parts of the other defenses are still standing in good shape, protecting the city center.
Even some of the old gates are still here!
Inside the walls is a combination of shops, restaurants, hotels, and normal residences. This is one of the northern streets looking toward the most famous tower here, la Tour de Constance, which was built between 1240 and 1250.
Less than a minutes’ walk outside the gates, you find the other main draw of Aigues-Mortes: the saltwater marshes! In fact, the city is named for them – in very Old French, “aigues-mortes” meant “dead waters” since the water is so salty it was useless for drinking, farming, or really even too much fishing. These days, people come not only to see the beautiful landscapes and local wildlife which are highly unique in France (among many other animals, they have wild flamingos here! Not exactly what you think of when you think of France, huh?) but people also come for the salt. Not surprisingly, extracting the salt from the marshes is big business here and it turned out this salt is exceptionally good for cooking with! Pretty lucky for Aigues-Mortes!
This is also the only place in France I’ve ever seen a real French poodle. The most educational or even interesting thing in Aigues-Mortes? Not even close. Am I posting it anyway? Yes, yes I am.
Alright, with that silliness out of the way, is time to reveal today’s comments winner: Erin M! Congrats Erin! I know the train today ate most of our time, but we’re here in Aigues-Mortes for quite a while so we’ll definitely catch back up to our exploring tomorrow 🙂