Pont du Gard
High on Rob’s list of things to see in Provence was Pont du Gard. It is an ancient Roman aqueduct built over 2000 years ago to carry water into the town of Nîmes. It ran for 50 kilometres and was built in the first century. How is that for mind blowing, and it still stands mainly all intact today.
We learnt that it carried 40,000m3 of spring water each day to the fountains, baths and homes of Nîmes. Baths consumed enormous amounts of water as it became part of a daily practice in 1st century. Roman toilets also needed lots of fresh flowing water.
Massive timber scaffolding, cranes, ox and human brute force was used to construct the aqueduct. Huge stone blocks were craved out of quarries and were placed to rest on top of each other. The construction is overwhelming when you stand back and marvel at the technology used to create this beauty.
Today the UNESCO world heritage listed area is used for hiking, swimming and canoeing down the river. It is an area to enjoy on a hot summers day.
Our visit cost us 7 euros 50 each which included parking and viewing the museum.
On our way home we finally visited Avignon. We had been frustratingly stuck in the road works here many times on our ventures elsewhere, which to tell you the truth had turned us off visiting.
Avignon is a historical walled city which attracts many tourists. It is especially busy in the summer due to its festival. Wandering around with thousands of others in the late afternoon we first stopped to admire at the marvellous architecture of ‘The Palace of the Popes’. It was truly striking. The palace just gazed down upon us. The Popes fled Rome in the 14th century which led to them building this beautiful palace for them.
We climbed the steps and explore the beautiful adjoining church.
Avignon was extremely lively as it was in full swing of summer festival session. Buskers were entertaining the high crowds, there were concert signs everywhere, cafes spilled out onto the streets, soldiers armed with machine guns patrolled on busy corner curbs. The busy foot traffic in some areas was overwhelming.
An excited thrill seeker was causing a crowd of his own when he decided to scale a church roof and take a selfie!!!
Avignon is also famous for the song about the Avignon bridge.
Sur le pont d’Avignon,
L’on y danse, L’on y danse,
Sur le pont d’Avignon,
L’on y danse, tout en rond
Only a small part of the bridge remains as a lot of it washed away in the 17th century.
We ended our day by exploring many cute streets. I found another vintage merry go round and Rob found a lavender bag as a keepsake of our time together in Provence.