Monday, November 30, 2015

South of France Road Trip: Pont du Gard

Actual date of this event: 7 May

Although it is generally easy to get to most cities in Europe by train, there are a few spots that can only be accessed by vehicle. Our week in the South of France would not have been as wonderful as it was had we not rented a vehicle. It wasn't cheap, and I booked the vehicle months in advance to ensure we got an automatic transmission, but it was totally worth the cost! We set off around 9am to pick-up the vehicle and begin our itinerary (and sorta wing it a few times throughout the day). To Luke's disappoint, I forgot my drivers license at home in London, so he had to drive the entire day - what a wonderful husband he is! I am a top notch navigator though, so we made a good team. The first stop on our road trip was a short distance away from Avignon at Pont du Gard. Since we were arriving by vehicle we had to pay the 18EUR fee to enter and park (really quite ridiculous, but whatever) otherwise it would have been free.
What an impressive structure this was though. Wow! Okay, it may not look all that impressive in pictures, but this thing is OLD - like early 1st century old! And tall - like 50 meters (160 feet) tall! And built by the Romans - like the Colosseum - in fact, it is older than the Colosseum! The thing is still standing and is very well preserved, and that is why it is so impressive.

Pont du Gard is the highest of the aqueducts that crosses the Gardon River. There are two levels to visit, but only guided tours can access the upper level or the conduit, so we were unable to do that. There are several hiking trails surrounding the bridge as well, but we had so much more to do for the day that we could not explore for too long.

After about an hour at Pont du Gard, we hopped in the car for our next destination (the most exciting of destinations, might I add). We drove through the countryside where we passed vineyard after vineyard. We had driven in parts of Tuscany before, but this was a whole new level of wine country. I couldn't believe how many grapevines we were passing, and it made me so extremely happy... go figure! Luke kept yelling "camera!" as he spotted a gorgeous landscape with a cute village or town in the distance, but let's face it, taking photos in a moving car never works out well. I did my best though.

So where was Team Buisson headed next? I'll give you one clue...

The Pont du Gard is one of France's top five tourist attractions.

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