Monday, June 12, 2017

Picnic under Pont du Gard!

Hello everyone,

A hop, skip, and a jump away from Avignon, you will find this bridge that looks like it came straight out of a fantasy world.   

Or you know, from some ancient civilization, like the Ancient Roman one ;)

Welcome to Pont du Gard, the highest of all ancient Roman aqueducts!

This UNESCO World Heritage site is free if you walk there, but if you park in the parking lot, you have to pay.  However, the ticket will let you walk on the bridge and go explore the museum, so we thought it was worth it =)

We were so in awe of this aqueduct the whole time.  I mean, from afar, it looks grand already, but when you are right under it, the scale is just jaw-dropping.  

This would be an impressive engineering feat to build today, but to think that they were able to do this almost 2,000 years ago is just mind blowing.  
Also, they didn't use any mortar to hold the rocks together! This gigantic bridge is held together merely by the weight of the rocks stacked on top of one another! Incredible.

It also blew my mind that we were able to just walk up to the bridge, touch the it, and even have a picnic under the bridge! I thought they would try to deter people coming so close to this incredible piece of history for reasons of preservation, but I'm glad that they seem to trust people enough to let us near!  

We had a wonderful picnic in the shade of the arches, watching people sunbathe, swim, kayak, and play with their pups.  What a place!  Because we came during the off season, we were able to enjoy the bridge mostly to ourselves in relative quiet.

so big!

We were fully prepared to go for a dip in the river after our picnic like the other swimmers, but oh my word.  The water was freezing.  haha

I quickly abandoned my mermaid dreams and instead, we crossed the bridge to explore the museum on the other side. Not necessarily what I had in mind post-picnic, but still amazing nonetheless  =)

Also close by Pont du Gard and Avignon is the city of Nimes.  
Pont du Gard was actually built to supply water for the city of Nimes, so we thought it would be fun to go explore Nimes.

You are beautiful, but man. You are impossible to drive in. 
If you want to visit Nimes, I would highly recommend either taking the bus/train there, or parking your car somewhere outside of the city (or pretty close to the edge of the city) and exploring the city on foot.  
We had one of the worst driving experiences in Europe in this city, so sadly, we had to abandon some of our exploratory plans and hightail it out of there as soon as we could...

We did manage to see some of the city before we hurried back to Avignon though, and that was definitely memorable  ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

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