Sunday, 11 November 2012

Pont Du Gard and Aramon, Provence

It was a relatively slow start to our day today. After some deliberation, we decided to visit the famous Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard. Built in a mere five years almost 2,000 years ago, it supplied the citizens of Nimes with running water throughout five centuries. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985 and stands 50m high, 360m long and has three levels.

On arrival on the west bank of the River Rhone, we walked past the small shops and museum dedicated to the Pont du Gard, before spying the enormous structure before us. The aqueduct is set over white crops of rock, grassy embankments and cool, bubbling water.

After walking over the to the right bank via the aqueduct, we skimmed stones on the river and took some photos. We imagined how much busier and more fun it would be in Summer, as the water looked so inviting. But alas, only a few owners' dogs were brave enough to take the plunge today!

Heading home, we stumbled across the small Provencal village of Aramon's annual Fair of Saint-Martin. Apparently, this fair has been a part of Aramon's history since 1703. Hundreds of stall-holders and residents dressed in peasant and Roman outfits filled the streets. Cheese, sausages, paintings, craft, sweets and clothing were all for sale. Music and performers provided entertainment and lively conversation swirled around our ears. It seemed that all of Aramon's nearly 4,000 residents were there. It was such a joyful and energetic atmosphere.

Sean, Brett, Brett Snr and Eloise at Pont du Gard

Eloise rests under one of the beautiful trees near Pont du Gard

Sean on the rocky outcrops near Pont du Gard

Eloise nestles in the rocks near the Pont du Gard

The famous aqueduct of Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard, Provence

Brett skims some stones on the River Rhone

Only dogs dared brave the icy waters near Pont du Gard

Sunshine over the Pont du Gard

Autumn hues near Pont du Gard

Eloise, Brett Snr, Brett and Sean enjoy Aramon's, "Foire de la Saint Martin"

Aramon's wonderful annual November fair, Provence

Roman "warriors" combat in Aramon

Fabulous costumes on display in Aramon

A Roman warrior prepares for battle in Aramon

Music filled the streets at Aramon's Saint Martin fair
Unfortunately, our cheese and olive purchases from Aramon did not last beyond a late afternoon tea. And so it was......McDonald's for dinner. Yes, even in Provence. Believe us, we did try to purchase some local fare to cook at home tonight, but we discovered that ALL shops in our village are closed on Sunday afternoon. Obviously, Provence too needs its beauty sleep!                        Tricia

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