Sunday, October 02, 2005

Le Pont du Gard

is simply the most astonishing thing I have ever seen. There is NOTHING to compare with walking down a wide pathway with a whack of fellow travellers (languages heard including English, Dutch, German - yes, it's getting easier to tell the difference- French, Italian) and seeing the top of this aqueduct float through the trees. It is 3 huge levels up and there was no way any picture from before can compare with the one now in my mind's eye. And, of course, not in any camera b/c blah blah blah.... We walked across on the C17th bridge which was built beside it to allow for traffic and looked at the graffitti from the 1800's (journeymen masons on their own Grand Tour) and, on the aqueduct itself, the original mason's marks to show which stones fit together. People, we are talking about graffitti which is over 2000 years old. Somehow, I don't think the current characters who consider themselves graffitti artists will still have their stuff on walls in 4005.

And then there was the museum. When the French decide to make a point of doing something, they do it exceptionally well. This museum was an "all-dayer" for which we had about an hour. Poppa would have loved it and I will go back if the occasion arises. Lots of re-creations of how it was built including static models and movies of "Romans and slaves".

This was after the visit to Les Baux which is the second most visited site in France after Paris. (Mostly b/c some 3* Michelin chef moved into the neighbourhood about 20 years ago and the whole area became popular but it is a lovely village.) Another one on a hill but, thanks to the wind, it was very clear and bright this morning and we could see from Arles to beyond Cassis - in other words, where we are going tomorrow. Louis XIV has a lot to answer for as he went about tearing down fortifications anywhere he felt threatened leaving us C21st tourists with a lot of piles of rock to look at and exercise our imaginations over! Too bad he didn't leave the forts and time-warp set up demolition of all the tourist shops. Luv a duck there are a lot of people who want to separate one from one's money!! So far, it's mostly postcards and some have even been sent!!

Thank you for your concerns: I am feeling better although still taking it very carefully in the grocery department. Today, I have had a salade Nicoise and creme caramel and still no wine. Both were good although TR makes a better cc. E and I are going to have dinner somewhere but it will be very small. The meals here are different from both home and Italy. Very small b'fast (cafe au lait, croissant), medium lunch, and as many as four or five courses for dinner. (No wonder they don't need much b'fast, eh??) There is always a "meat" course with dinner (fish, meat, poultry) and often a cheese course as well so the possibility for overloading the liver (if wine is also included) is excellent!! Last night we had smoked salmon on greens for a starter, a beef stifado with noodles, and a nougat (can we say pancreas workout???) ice cream. I was glad of the walk to and from the restaurant!!

Will save the 4 hour meal in Vaison la Romaine for another writing as now, my noble reader, I must walk back to the hotel and find E. We have only one key for the room and she's in it with the key. That would be our room which is 3 floors up the windingest staircase and the one which has the 6 foot ceilings under the eaves.

Au revoir et a bientot.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi gals, glad you are feeling better and able to enjoy some fine food and a bit of bubbly. You are still viewing some of the places we travelled to, it is unbelievable how much there is to absorb. Good to pick up postcards to keep to refresh the mind. Thinking of you, chow for now Joyce and TR

1:42 p.m.  

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