It had been some years that we had been to Nîmes and at the time we had not been very impressed. So we decided to visit again, also to check out its museum of contemporary art "Carré d'Art" built by the British architect Sir Norman Foster.
To put it in a nutshell: If you never get to go to Nîmes don't cry, you won't miss all that much. If you are serious about contemporary art, the museum, a glass building that mirrors the shape of the Roman Temple "Maison Carré" next to it, is really not that exciting. If you want contemporary art in Provence pay a visit to the wonderful Collection Lambert in Avignon.
Wandering around the city center we finally found something really worth looking at: the market halls of Nîmes. Its been a long time that I have seen such an abundance of olives, olive oils, tapenades, fish and meat stalls, wine merchants, charcuteries or bakers - a foodie's delight! And they really urge you to taste:
Sun dried tomatoes: Tasting obligatory
We tasted lemon, chili and cilantro tapenades, the best ever sun dried tomatoes, looked longingly at the fish stalls (why do I never learn to always, just always keep an icebox in my car?) and bought a local speciality "Le Petit Nimois", cute little pastries with a meat or fish stuffing which I reheated in the oven and served with a salad on the side. Those with fish were best.
Le Petit Nimois - savoury little pastries