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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day 5 - Pont du Gard

From Moustier, we moved to our next destination.

It's a good news to everyone when husband said the place we were going is not too far away.Yippee....

There was no traffic on the road, truly indicated we have traveled the place in a low season.

Along the road side, we saw some sun flower fields...but no more lavender, for sure.

Provence is world famous for its lavender field. Unfortunately, we had long passed its harvest season when visiting the place in late summer time.

Even though our car passed by the field very fast, the view is still remarkably beautiful.

About 1 hour later, we arrived at a small town, which I have forgotten its name by now.

After checked in our hotel, we went out for lunch in a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. Finally, sons got to eat fried rice.

I noticed French people like to hold a baguette in their hand during afternoon time. Probably they just eat this for lunch?

So, I bought a freshly baked baguette from a bakery shop while we were on the way back to the hotel. Instantly, I felt like a French !

Our hotel, located just next to a river. Husband said he deliberately choose this hotel for the river is our main activity for the following 2 days.

The water is so crystal clear, looks like zero pollution. But to sons, they only saw those ducks.

Eating baguette in the hotel.Even without butter and jam, a fresh baguette still tastes very good.

From our room, we could overlooked this private garden...

The moment we had reached the hotel, William and Vincent couldn't wait to run down to the garden to play with the wild ducks in the river.

I sat on the balcony....Seeing their happy faces feeding the ducks, made everything worth it.

Just that, half of my baguette had been contributed to the ducks...

Around 3 pm, husband drove us to go to see an old bridge...I do feel strange why we deliberately drive a long way just to see an old bridge? Anyway, it's husband call, so we just followed.

The estimated driving time was 45 min, but end up, it took us more than 1.5 hour to locate the place, cause it's darn so confusing to find the entrance to expressway.

We arrived at the destination, Site Pont du Gard at around 5 pm. Luckily, the site didn't close early in summer time. So, that's gave us some time to hang around the place leisurely.

The entry fee is not cheap though (€18 for family package), all for the bridge?

We have skipped the museum right at the entrance, one reason is that entry fee is needed. The other reason is that we prefer to stay outdoor.

We walked a short distance, then can see the bridge from far...

See anything special about the bridge?

Built in the 1st century AD, the Pont du Gard is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges and is the best preserved with the Aqueduct of Segovia. It was added to UNESCO Heritage Site in 1995 because of its historical importance.

Designed to carry the water across the small Gardon river valley, it was part of a nearly 50 km that brought water from springs near Uzes to the Roman city of Nemausus (Nimes).

The bridge was constructed entirely without the use of mortar. It is believed to have taken about 3 years to build, employing between 800 to 1000 workers.

The bridge has 3 tiers of arches, standing 48.8 m high.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Pont du Gard remained largely intact due to the importance of its secondary function as a toll bridge. It had attracted increasing attention starting in the 18th century and became an important tourist destination.

The bridge had undergone a series of renovation between the 18th and 21st century commissioned by the local authorities and the French state. Today, it's one of France's most popular tourist attractions.

Besides the bridge and the visitor center, there isn't anything to see...

Luckily the river is still there...so we could let the kids to play water for a while, like many other tourists did.

Side view of the Pont du Gard, showing the three rows of arches.

Walking down to the river side...

The boys were getting reserved in playing water in a wild river. Without any "tools" in their hands, they have lost the interest pretty fast.

About 30 minutes later, they went up and said they'd done with it.

So we left the place...

On the way back to the entrance / exit....

10 minutes later, we were back to the visitor center. Saw this miniature tree that fit William so much.

There is really nothing exotic about this site.

I read the information board briefly, then we decided to go home at around 6.30 pm.

For dinner, we went into the town again. Settling down in this Vietnamese restaurant which we had patron in the afternoon time.

We were lucky enough to get a table near the river. It's such a refreshing evening, hearing the water flowing, seeing the ducks playing in the water.

Besides fried rice, which was a must for Vincent, we also ordered a Vietnam style platter. Not the best I have eaten, but what can we expect in this small town in Provence, right?

The boys gobbled everything fast. Within 20 min time, we had swept all of the foods on the table.

At around 9.30 pm, we walked back to the hotel. The boys insists to watch TV for a while before going to bed. Well, we just let them be. After all, we were holidaying....


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