To Nîmes


We hit the road with our rental car after leaving Paris yesterday morning, and had a very smooth time getting out of Paris (despite the fact that this was Bastille Day and we were told the EVERYONE was leaving town for the long weekend). Along the way, we stopped near Lyon at one of chef Georges Blanc’s restaurants (called L’embaradero) for an absolutely fabulous lunch. A few short hours later, we had arrived in Nîmes, a town with a rich Roman history and an Arena in the center of the old town (that our Hotel room just happened to overlook). We checked in and then went to explore a little, first stopping at the magnificent Arena for a tour of what is the best preserved example of such a structure in the world. Then we walked around the town a bit and stopped for a truly awful meal (the counterbalance to our lunch experience), and finally went back to the hotel, exhausted. A couple of hours later we got a little bit of a second wind and went to explore the town a bit by night, which was thoroughly enjoyable.

From Nimes

The Viking travel index


Cost of 8-day car rental, Copenhagen, Denmark to Bergen, Norway: $558

Estimated MPG for compact car: 30

Cost of a gallon of gas in Oslo, Norway: $9.28

Estimated total distance of travel if driving: 1078km

Same distance in miles: 670

Estimated gas cost: $205

Estimated tolls: $70

Cost of Eurail select pass for 3 countries (1st class, per person): $481

Cost of Eurail select saver pass for 3 countries (1st class, 2 people) $818

Cost of Eurail Scandinavia pass, per person (2nd class, per person) $351

Minimum cost of a flight from Bergen to Stockholm: $73

Minimum cost of flight from Stockholm to Hamburg: $108


Jersey Shore


I have had a TON of project work recently. Often I have been waking up and jumping straight from bed to my desk, only realizing around noon that I am still in my underwear. Sensing a need to break free of this cycle from time to time, even in a very busy period, I accepted my friend Ric’s offer to explore an exotic land I had never really been to called “New Jersey”. In particular, he was going to show me something called “The Shore”. Vague guidonic, somewhat trashy , MTV visions dancing in my head, I set out by bus from Port Authority to Ric’s place in Union. We then drove well over an hour to get to our starting place, Island Beach State Park where I have to admit to being surprised by how lovely and remote it seemed. The dunes were really beautiful, and we hung out for a while being goofy on the beach (see photos). After that we headed up to a lunch and a couple of boardwalks at Seaside Heights and Asbury Park. They were pretty fascinating places, in a style that reminded me of the 1940s for some reason, perhaps because I had in my head an image of my mother as a very young girl on the boardwalk in Atlantic City with my grandmother, both looking glamorous from about that time period. Ric was a wealth of information about the area and the waves of migration and various economic conditions that have shaped these places over the years. Asbury Park in particular has a spectacular stock of old houses. All in all, a much needed short day break from my work and a very interesting place to visit. Click on the image below to go to the picasaweb album.