After five nights in Barcelona it was time to move on. A six hour bus ride out of Spain took us to Montpellier, France where we had arranged another car rental. The bus dropped us off outside the airport as it was temporarily off limits for security reasons due a "luggage left unattended alert". We had a short drive through a delta region to the seaside town of Saintes Maries de la Mer where we stayed at a quaint little hotel for one night. It was good to be on the road again and the late afternoon sun enhanced the beautiful scenery as we neared the coast. We splurged on dinner. Di and Emma shared a moule et frites and I had a menu including a wonderful fish soup and salmon. A pleasant way to wrap up our first day on the road.
The next morning we set the GPS for Nimes and the the famous arena. The Arena of Nimes is a Roman amphitheatre built in 70 AD, around the same time as the Colosseum in Rome. The self guided audio tour was very entertaining with audio clips of gladiator fights and roaring crowds. Today the arena is one of the best preserved Roman arenas and is used for live entertainment. I first heard of it back in 1992, when Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits recorded a live concert here.
Nimes had more to offer. The town centre was with the Maison Carrée Roman temple was amazing and so was the coffee and huge ice cream we enjoyed in one of the town squares before heading out of town, towards Aix en Provence.