I remember it as if it were yesterday / 13

The Pont du Gard, near Remoulins in Provence- I first saw it in spring, 1982, when I visited my parents when they were holidaying  in France.  Many years before, my father had told me about a bridge with no railings a couple of hundred feet above the river below…. little did I know it was the Pont du Gard, and that I would be seeing it.

In the early 80s my father had bought a Talbot Solara, and I still remember bowling along the banks of the Rhone in that car, and suddenly there it was – that magnificent ancient aqueduct.

Here’s a view (this one taken some years later, in the early evening:

Although I have been to this place a number of times, I will always remember my first view of it from the banks of the Rhone near Remoulins. Because I had been captivated by stories of this bridge with no railings, I wanted to go myself. And in the early 1980s you still had access to the structure from the hillside.

Here’s a view under one of the lower arches:

People used to walk across the top of it, and as I was crawling across (I don’t like heights but was determined to do this), I remember seeing a Frenchwoman in heels, child piggybacking on her back, strolling nonchalently across. We are talking about a 200 foot drop to the river below, and no railings…!

For those that didn’t want to be out in the open at that height, you could walk through the water channel- alas, I didn’t take any images.

This is a view from part way up, in the evening light – I didn’t take any at the top!

After that first visit, I saw it twice more, and this is the best image in my view- the Pont du Gard in the evening light.

Pont du Gard, evening light

I feel privileged to have been able to get onto the top of this edifice, and to have walked through the water tunnel.

36 comments

  1. I love these old aqueduct relics – standing next to them is so magnificent – hint to what can be accomplished. How lucky you are to have walked on/in them. Sigh. Just touching them is amazing, but to wander them – fabulous experience. Loved the pictures!

  2. I didn’t take the walk on top but marvelled at not only Pont du Gard but the ancient Olive trees around the base and along the tracks. Thanks for bringing back a memory Sue 🙂

  3. A tribute to Roman engineering. Still standing, since around 50 AD.
    Nice shots and story, Sue. I don’t mind heights, so would have walked on top. But I only saw it from a distance, on a trip to Nimes.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Wonderful shots, Sue! Love them all – and I don’t have any myself! I feel the same as you did – the breathtaking awe when it finally came into view. And being fortunate to have walked it. I was only 16 and afraid of nothing. today I would love to see it again – but your photos take me there!

  5. What a marvelous structure. Love that last photo, Sue.

  6. Wonderful photos, Sue. I saw this in the mid-70s when I was in Europe and never forgot it. I would love to go see it again! What a magnificent structure!

    janet

  7. Just tried to post this and I guess it didn’t work the first time. Wonderful photos, Sue. I saw this in the mid-70s and never forgot it. What a magnificent structure! I would love to see it again someday. But in the meantime, your photos will do nicely.

    janet

  8. Love seeing it and your story.

  9. Thank you for sharing this, Sue. I’ve never been. Lovely evening light! 🙂 🙂

  10. fredonnezmoi

    I remember, I walked the viaduct on top, and one could also walk through the aqueaduct, where the water flews at times of the Romans. That was in 1979, when I have visited the bridge, and I think that today walking on the top is not possible anymore. Right behind the bridge, there was a place where we swam in the Gard river. It was in summer, and the clear and cool water was very refreshing 🙂
    Thank you for that post !!

  11. Thanks for the alert. As you know I love these posts, these mini memoirs. I was awed by your crawl across the top despite height-terror, and the fact you had mind to spare for noticing Frenchwomen in high heels with baby on back! The photos are redolent of both evening and past times.

  12. What a remarkable structure and well done you for crossing it, that would be the equivalent of me holding a spier in my hand and there’s n way that’s going to happen!

  13. Amy

    Beautiful photo of this spectacular the Pont du Gard. I still remember…

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