Spending Easter in France

This trip had been planned for quite some time, in fact even before last Christmas. My husband usually spends a long weekend in Spring in the Ardèche region, where he and his fellow caving friends go spelunking. This time we were a small group of close friends. We camped, drove around the countryside, went caving, bought fresh vegetables at markets, visited beautiful cites, shared lots of laughs and good conversation and had an all-around good time.

The first few days were spent exploring the countryside. We stopped in small villages on the way, bought pains au chocolat and baskets of fresh strawberries, peas and radishes.

I slipped down to the Ardèche River to take a few photographs. The light wasn’t as nice as I had hoped, but it was quiet. There was a solitary fisherman up to his chest in the water and while he fished, I walked along the sandy beach for a few pictures. The river is unusually low right now and I was able to walk pretty far out into the river. I remember paddling down the river the last time, when there was much more water.

Moving from one campground to another, the drive down south was a very rainy affair and I stopped only once for a photograph, but there would have been plenty of scenic villages along the way. Next time…

We hopped over to Avignon for a short jaunt and we weren’t the only ones who had the same idea on Easter Sunday. We had hoped to visit the Palais des Papes, but the line out the door was not only too long, it would also have meant waiting in the rain. Instead, I took a few photos from the outside.

The Pont du Gard, an aqueduct built by the Romans, was only a few minutes walk away from our campground and our first port of call on Easter Monday. I had seen pictures of it, but never imagined how large and imposing it actually was. Quite frankly, it took my breath away.

There was a festival that weekend and music was being played on the bridge. The funniest characters were the man dressed as a Roman playing the trumpet, a woman dressed as a nurse playing the trombone, and the man with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth playing a drum.

We started with the Romans, we ended with the Romans. Our next stop with the ancient city of Nîmes, where we walked through the old amphitheater, still in use today, climbed the Tour Magne for a view of the city, and went in the Maison Carrée to watch a short film about the city. Did you know that the word denim is derived from “de Nîmes” (of Nîmes)?

Listen closely and you can hear the footsteps, the shouts, the cries, the laughter and the tears when you walk along these ancient paths. Touch the stones which have been standing for many centuries. The stories they tell…

Maison Carrée, one of the best preserved Roman temples:

But what else does NÎmes look like?

One of the best surprises was the town of Uzès, which a Alex suggested we visit, and where we stopped at on the drive back home. I highly recommend it to anyone who is in the area and we will certainly return there the next time we are.

And lastly, a stop for my husband, who had been itching to visit the St. Marcel cave for a while.


Where to stay:


Alex’ photos of our trip can be found on her website!

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