Pont du Gard, Arles & Les Baux de Provence

Yesterday, Wednesday, was a busy sightseeing day. We drove (Susan) first to Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct, quite well preserved and an extremely impressive feat of engineering. It was built in the first century AD to carry water over 50 km (31 mi) to the Nimes. It crosses the river Gardon. The Pont du Gard is the tallest of all Roman aqueduct bridges. It was used till the 600s. It carried 110,000,000 gallons of water a day to Nimes. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it was used as a toll bridge over the river but then in the Middle Ages was looted, as many Roman artifacts were, for building materials. It was restored and preserved once it became a tourist destination starting in the 1700s.

After leaving the Pont du Gard we (Susan) drove to Arles, a town of about 145,000 which hosts a colliseum/Arenes which is largely intact and an ancient theater/amphitheater which is less well preserved. We had lunch there and then explored the theater and arena, stopped by the small square anchored by the “Hotel de Ville” and a church. Van Gough spent a couple of years there and painted extensively during his stay. Next stop: the Les Beaux de Provence, a pretty hillside village.

We were hoping to see the fort but arrived four minutes too late, so walked around the outside, and through the city, before heading back to Avignon, just as it started to rain. We stopped at an Aldi in St. Remy (where Van Gough spent time in a mental hospital and also where he painted his olive tree paintings and starry night).

We arrived in Avignon around 7 (taking some interesting roads, one of which was 2-way but one car wide) but it took us nearly an hour to get to our apartment, as google maps was useless. We ended up on one narrow street that we barely got out of, even with our side mirrors folded in). But make it we did. And that was Day four of our French adventure. Thursday is an all-Avignon, no driving day.

4 responses to “Pont du Gard, Arles & Les Baux de Provence

  1. Great comments and reporting Carolyn. I very much enjoy reading your accounts of your time abroad. And the pictures are an added bonus! Thank you…

    Mike Carrico

  2. Great trips. I am keeping all your information, as i plan to play tennis in Europe. Thanks for sharing tips. The Usta should help in some way…..make a YouTube channel, you are helping seniors tennis a lot more than any other person in the USA. Thanks. Esteban

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