The Nagasawa family trip to France:  May 1 - 15, 2011

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Paris (Seine River)

May 1 Arrive in Paris, Eiffel Tower
May 2 Louvre Museum, Jardin Tuileries
May 3 Cathedrals, Jardin Luxembourg

Sarlat (Dordogne River)

May 4 Sarlat
May 5 Cave paintings, Roque St. Christophe
May 6 Castles, Laines at Blagnac

Blagnac (Garonne River)

May 7 Laines at Blagnac, L'Amphitryon
May 8 Toulouse, Hiking
May 9 Cite L'Espace
May 10 Toulouse

St. Remy, Lyon (Rhone River)

May 11 Nimes, St. Remy
May 12 Pont du Gard, Camargue
May 13 Des Baux, Avignon
May 14 Lyon
May 15 Train to Paris, fly home


May 11

The Laines and Nagasawas drove a few hours to the Provence area, which is southeast, near the Italian border.  On the way, we listened to Les Miserables, which is of course set in France in the early to mid 1800's, culminating with the Paris student revolution of 1850.  John and Zoe love singing to Les Miserables.  I suggested we read the abridged English version of the book this summer.  I read it in 10th grade and absolutely loved it.  Here's hoping they love it, too. 


A view of the castle of Carcassonne.  Yes, the game is named after this real castle.


We picnicked on a hill overlooking Carcassonne. 




I couldn't resist sitting next to my niece - what a cutie.


Gabrielle is a really easy baby.  The only time she seems to get fussy is when she's hungry and you're not feeding at this moment!


With Carcassonne in the distance, I tried several times to get a picture of John and Zoe jumping.  Here's try #1.


Here's try #2.


Here's try #3.


Here's try #4.


Here's try #5.


Here's try #6.


Here's try #7.


Here's try #8.  At last!


Here are all the people with Nagasawa genes.


We arrived at Nimes, the city that gave its name to denim:  fabric "of Nimes".  "Nimes" is pronounced "neem".  Our first stop was an old Roman tower on a high hill.  This gave us a commanding view of the city.


Apparently Nostradamus predicted that there was gold buried in and under this Roman tower.  So people started ripping it apart and dismantling the stones.  Too bad Nostradamus was such a fool.


A garden at the foot of the tower.


Here's us entering the tower.


We were greeted by very cool air and a winding staircase wrapped around a column. 


This is Nimes from the tower.


A bit of trivia.


Then, coming down the staircase.



We went to the old Roman stadium.  It was a mini-colosseum. 


One of the outer halls.


The inside.  This stadium is still in use!  After being over 2,000 years old.  There are bullfights and concerts that are still held here.


We listened to a recorded tour guide tell us about the story behind the arena.




Then we went to the Maison Carree, which is the largest intact old temples still standing.  The columns are beautiful.



As is the artwork and stone carvings on the ceiling and roof.



The door is massive.  The inside has been turned into a theater.


Where we saw a movie featuring great warriors of Nimes, from the Roman soldiers to the modern day bullfighters.


Across the plaza is the Museum of Fine Art.


This is the inside of the Museum of Fine Art.  The bottom levels are a public library.


Another shot inside.


Then we went to eat a snack.  The kids got sorbet of course.


An interesting door.  Notice the hand on the left?


While the Laines went back to their hotel room, the Nagasawas took a walk around the park. 



Pretty amazing sculptures, fountains, and gardens.



This is called an ancient Temple to Diana, but we're not exactly sure which Greek deity was honored here.



Zoe has been interested in the Greeks myths and wants to dress up as Athena for Halloween.


John posing as a statue.





The first mishap of the trip:  We got to our campsite in St. Remy too late.  They had locked the doors and didn't let us in.  So we were going to sleep in our car in a parking lot.  But we saw a French police car drive by once, and then again.  We decided not to risk it and got a hotel room for the night. 


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