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  • Day13

    The Loop of Aramon

    September 2, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    Human beings are very adaptable creatures. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly we can adjust to circumstance which, even a couple of days earlier, seemed quite challenging. Coping with life on a river barge is a perfect example of this.

    When we first climbed on board the L'Estello, just two days ago, the first thing that everyone noticed was just how tiny the cabins are. For many of our group they are probably the smallest rooms they have ever had to live in. In addition to the small size you have the added challenges of (almost) no windows. This can be very hard to cope with if you suffer with claustrophobia.

    Of course the challenge of cabin living reaches its epitome when you enter the "en suite" bathroom. While every cabin is equipped with its own bathroom, they are not exactly of 5 star (or even 1,2 or 3 star) standard. I suspect that the bathrooms were fitted out at a time before most of us were even born, Considering the incredible age of our riders, that is really saying something.

    The tiles in the bathroom are liberally covered in a layer of black mould and a sign above the toilet warns the occupant not to put any type of waste in it. I had previously thought that that was toilets were there for, but now I know better. Each bathroom is also equipped with a hand held shower and tiny basin. Of course it requires the consummate skill of a master magician to be able to shower without saturating everything else in the room. This is a skill that Maggie has not yet mastered.

    The diminutive size of the cabins would not be such a problem if you were only going to be in France for a week or two. If that was the case you could probably get by with a small case or backpack. The problem is that we will be travelling in France for two months and therefore have come with "beaucoup de baggage". By the time we crammed the two suitcases into our cabin, there was virually no room for either of us to enter.

    In case you are thinking that we must be crazy to embark upon such a cruise, I can assure you that we are in fact all having an absolute ball. Although the cabins are small, they are well air conditioned and the beds are actually quite comfortable, even if you have to sleep with your knees under your chin.

    The other key point to mention is that the cabins are only for sleeping, bathing and using the toilet. The life on the barge centres in the lounge and dining rooms. That is where the group members spend virtually all their spare time. It is this type of shared camaraderie that is not felt on the huge modern river boats.

    Today began with a 60 minute cruise out of Avignon to the village of Aramon. That os where we unloaded the bikes and started our ride. The forecast was for a much more comfortable temperature of around 26C, however we did find that this estimate was exceeded my middle afternoon. Although the extreme high temperature was missing, its place had been taken by the arrival of the Mistral - the howling wind that is a feature of the region. It is the Mistral wind that had destroyed many a peloton in the Tour de France and we felt its full force during today's ride.

    The ride took the form of a loop ride, starting and finishing in Aramon. The main highlight was the towering Roman viaduct at Pont de Gard. I had seen pictures of this engineering wonder in many books, but nothing can prepare you for seeing it in the flesh. The scale is incredible and it is mind boggling to think that something that was constructed 2000 years ago can still stand so proudly and securely. It had survived the dark ages, the Renaissance, numerous wars and revolutions and untold numbers of governments. You cannot help but wonder at the brilliance of the designers and builders.

    The outward ride to the Pont de Gard had been a real struggle into the head wind, but we were relieved to experience that most rare of all cycling phenomena on the return leg - a raging tail wind. Even with the assistance of the tail wind, it was still a long and tiring day in the saddle and we were all very happy when we finally reached the welcome sanctuary of our boat.
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  • Day33

    Pont du Gard

    September 5, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Heute ging es wieder früh zum Strand. Wir genossen nochmal die letzten Blicke übers Meer - es wird wohl einige Zeit vergehen, bis wir wieder ans Meer kommen - der Abschied ist schwer 😢

    Vor der Abfahrt um 12 Uhr, nutzen Amy und Tina nochmal dir Zeit am Pool.

    Da wir auf dem Campingplatz - Camping la Sousta - am Pont du Gard, noch eine Übernachtung einlegen, haben wir heute nur 150 Km zu fahren und treffen um 15 Uhr auf dem Campingplatz ein.

    Am Pont du Gard waren wir ja schon öfters, daher haben wir uns auf diesen Zwischenstopp such schon sehr gefreut. Es ist einfach immer schön hier - der Fluß mit Kieselstrand und großen Steinen - der Aquädukt - und die tolle Umgebung haben einfach was besonderes.

    Wikipedia schreibt über den Pont du Gard:

    „Der Pont du Gard ist ein römischer Aquädukt im Süden Frankreichs auf dem Gebiet der Gemeinde Vers-Pont-du-Gard im Département Gard. Die Brücke ist von beeindruckender Höhe und stellt einen der am besten erhaltenen Wasserkanäle aus der Römerzeit in Frankreich dar. Der Pont du Gard zählt zu den wichtigsten erhalten gebliebenen Brückenbauwerken der antiken römischen Welt und ist eine der bedeutendsten Sehenswürdigkeiten Südfrankreichs.

    Pont du Gard bedeutet übersetzt Gard-Brücke. Der Fluss Gard wird heutzutage meist Gardon genannt, von ihm leitet sich auch der Name des Départements ab.“

    Der Campingplatz ist doch größer als ich ihn in Erinnerung hatte - bis wir uns endlich für einen schönen Platz entscheiden konnten, dauerte es einige Zeit.

    Mitten im Wald kann man sich hier den schönsten Platz aussuchen - Pool - Pizzaria und saubere Waschhäuser sind vorhanden - immerhin hat er auch 4 Sterne 😃

    Zuerst ging es gleich mit den Hunden vom Campingplatz aus an das Flussufer um uns alle etwas abzukühlen.
    Am Abend spazierten wir dann noch die ca. 1.5 Km zum Pont du Gard und bewunderten bei der untergehenden Sonne den Pont du Gard.
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  • Day443

    Pont du Gard

    June 9, 2020 in France ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    This morning we caught the bus, no charge, but masks obligatory, to go to Pont du Gard. This is a particularly impressive aqueduct that was constructed in 50AD by the Romans, well most of the work was obviously done by slaves but at the instigation of the Romans. The full aqueduct bought water from Uzès to Nimes over a distance of almost 50km, the Pont du Gard section is 275m wide, at least I think that was what they said, the length of three A380s big planes?
    We arrived just as it was opening and were first across the bridge that was added to the aqueduct in the 1700s when it became a historic monument. We mooched around the gardens and land either side, nearly getting lost had a coffee in the deserted cafe probably only because we were early, before a visit to the museum for the educational bit. We caught the bus back, again free for some reason, not just for us no one had to pay and this seemed to come as a surprise to the locals as well as us.
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  • Day3

    Pont du Gard

    June 19, 2020 in France ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Coucou c'est Jeanne.
    Nous avons fait du canoë hier sous le pont du Gard, sur la rivière Gardon.
    C'est le plus grand acqueduc romain du monde avec ses 2000 ans. Il a fallu 1000 hommes pendant 15 ans pour le construire.
    Cette visite était magnifique.
    Gros bisous
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  • Day16

    Pont du Gard

    April 3, 2015 in France ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

    "We came all this way to see an old bridge". Yes this Roman aqueduct was built almost 2000 years ago and only took 5 years. It is huge, clever, but people must have worked very hard on it. I liked climbing up high and taking photosRead more

  • Day15

    Pont du Gard

    October 2, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌬 18 °C

    Pont du Gard is a Roman aqueduct that carried water for over thirty miles to the Roman city located on the site of modern Nimes. A museum at this UNESCO World Heritage Site describes the unbelievable achievements of Roman slaves and engineers as they picked their way through the mountains. No one knows how many slaves were worked to death in the process of this construction. It was built over a period of about thirty years at about the time of the birth of Jesus. One fact that amazed me was that the Romans in Nimes were quite well supplied with drinking water from the Rhone River. The pressurized water carried by this aqueduct was solely for the pleasure of the Roman overlords in their fountains and baths. It is still a remarkable sight. Glenda and I were able to climb to the top of the mountain overlooking this structure to get a photograph in the afternoon sun.Read more

  • Day30

    Pont du Gard

    August 25, 2016 in France ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Today, we decided to take this roadtrip to a whole new level. A three hour canoe ride on the river, with oh, so beautiful view. We booked our canoe a day advance, as we didn't want the whole 'no more visitors today' story to repeat.

    The day was pretty hot and swimming in the river was just perfect! We didn't actually stoped at Pont du Gard, as we're not that much into museums, instead paddling our way through the bridge on a calm river was our plan all along. One of the best things we did on this roadtrip for sure!

    Oh yeah, on the way back, we stopped at the Haribo museum(we still don't know why it's in Uzes), skipped the museum part and went directly to the candy. I mean, who could resist those yummy gummy bears and yes, we're going on a diet as soon as we come back :)
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  • Day2

    Pont du Gard

    September 10, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Es regnet, aber wir lassen es uns nicht nehmen zum Pont du Gard zu fahren. Hier könnte man sicherlich wunderschöne Bilder machen, wenn das Wetter mitspielen würde - egal wir versuchen es trotzdem. 😄
    Auf dem Rückweg zum Van haben wir noch nen kurzen Abstecher zum Klo gemacht und auf dem Weg einen super schönen Indoor Spielplatz entdecket, da konnte Mali sich noch ein wenig austoben. 🙏
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  • Day408

    Day 409: Pont du Gard

    March 30, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Left Nice in the morning and drove westwards - quite a long drive today, about four hours worth. Eventually we drove past Avignon and just a bit further west to the Pont du Gard, part of a large Roman aqueduct.

    Unfortunately Schnitzel wasn't allowed inside so we had to leave him in the car, but we decided to make it a fairly quick visit. The aqueduct itself is very impressive - almost 50 metres tall and over 300 metres long, and it's kind of crazy that it's survived for so long almost completely intact!

    The precision of the construction is just amazing as well, since over the 300 metres in length it drops only a couple of centimetres (enough to keep the water flowing). In fact, the full length of the aqueduct (50km), the total drop was about 12 metres which is just remarkable. Those Romans sure knew how to build em!

    Finished up our filming and headed back to the car where we drove the 30 minutes or so back into Avignon where we'll be staying for the next week as there's quite a few other WH sites nearby. Lots of traffic which was really annoying!

    Our apartment is out on the edge of Avignon, about 20 minutes walk or so from the historic centre. It's a single-bedroom apartment in a fairly new block, and should be fairly comfortable for the week. We actually didn't have particularly high hopes for this one since the photos looked quite ordinary, but we're pleasantly surprised! And the internet is blazing fast which is nice.

    So we settled in and Shandos went to the nearby supermarket to grab supplies for the week. Home-cooked pasta for dinner tonight!
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  • Day16

    Pont du Gard. Built to last.

    May 4, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    Romans love a good bath. And a fountain or two. Oh and it helps if one keeps the slaving masses alive. All this needs water. As I'm sure you realise, this isn't even a pont; it's an aqueduct. Over 50 km in total, it drops just 25cm per km. Kudos to roman nerds. This span, the longest of the roman ones is over 250 meters long, aka three Airbus A380s. What a testament to roman ingenuity, culture, and the power of water.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Vers-Pont-du-Gard, Vèrç, ور پون دو گار, Вер-Пон-дю-Гар, 30210, 韦尔蓬特-迪加尔