Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Pont du Gard

Tree lined roads are pretty typical just outside of Uzes. The journey to Pont du Gard took about 10 minutes. No traffic lights, no road humps, no pot holes, no traffic cones, no congestion. Just a thoroughly enjoyable drive with beautiful views.
What France does have though is plenty of fields full of sunflowers, olive groves and roadside stalls where farmers sell their fruit and vegetables.
We arrived at the Pont du Gard where, the brochure tells us, stands the tallest aqueduct in the Roman world which was built in 5 years. 2,000 years ago this structure provided Nimes with running water for 5 centuries.It stands 50m high (on 3 levels) and 360m long. You can walk along the highest level, although we didn't. Instead we walked along the lower level to the other side of the riverbank.

This is the view from the aqueduct. We picked out a picnic spot on the rocks and headed for it as best we could.

Although it was a bit more tricky to get to than it looked from above. 

Having made our way across the rocks we finally chose a place to sit as near to the water's edge as possible.
 Where we ate our baguettes followed by fruit and chocolate
Thomas was itching to get down to the water. We have to watch him like a hawk - one minute he's paddling
 The next his shorts are off and he's waist deep, although this was quite tame stuff really. There were people diving in off the rocks and swimming. Plus further upstream those with more energy than ourselves were hiring kayaks and canoes.
We were here for about 3 hours and in that time it got really busy with families arriving and setting themselves up to spend a full day here.

It cost us 18E for a family day pass but we could have bought an annual family pass for 23E which is excellent value for money, especially as there are no parking charges. 

As well as the natural beauty of the it all, there are exhibition centres, interactive rooms for children, and a cinema where the story of the Romans and the aqueduct is told. There are also a  couple of cafes, a creperie and a small shop. It is in no way over commercialised and if we lived in Uzes this would definitely be a regular haunt of ours.


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