Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Hairdryer's behind the Chainsaw: Part 3

The Pont du Gard has been on my 'must see' list for a very long time and it totally lived up to my expectations. In some ways it is unfortunate that it has now become a major tourist attraction in the region -- however, on the other hand without this interest it would probably deteriorate and be lost to us forever. It was wonderful to be able to be able to walk across and back again. I was not feeling up to the hike up to the top of the aqueduct, though I probably should have made the effort (in hindsight!!).

As we arrived toward the end of the season we were not overwhelmed with an onslaught of tourists, though there were still many around -- including a bridal party posing for posterity.

It was a perfect day for this excursion -- neither too hot nor too warm. The tourist site is attractively situated and the walk from the entrance to the bridge is pleasant and not too long. Because it was the end of a hot and dry summer the water level of the Gard was extremely low, and it is hard to imagine the wild torrents of water that are said to flow from the mountains in the early Spring. The river bed is white limestone and tends to look more like snow that rock. The engineering logistics of the aquaduct are as impressive as any in our world of engineering feats and a testament to the time when Rome ruled the known world. I hope I get to go back there again one day.

If it were up to me and if time were not closing in on us I would have lingered there for longer. I had already had to give up all hope of seeing Avignon though we did drive along the edge of the ancient city and around and about to get onto the route to Apt, where we had decided to spend the night. Once thing is certain, there is no town in Provence that is easy to drive through! We chose a rather modern looking hotel, which proved to be very comfortable and provided a very nice breakfast -- it was convenient to the entrance of the old town and parking was not a problem. Unfortunately, we did not have the best luck with our choice of restaurant -- that was very disappointing and quite expensive for what we got. We had seen another restaurant/creperie which we found so quickly that we rejected it -- silly mistake. The restaurant we chose was open to the outside and had nasty little tiny bugs that were impossible to escape.

The next day, Sunday, we found some fresh bread and headed for Italy ...

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