Friday, May 17, 2013

Sending Water To Nîmes

You know, I could quote you the French tourist office and Wikipedia about the Pont du Gard, built over the Gardon River two thousand years ago as a three-tier aqueduct by soldiers under the command of Emperor Claudius, perhaps, though they're not exactly sure. Or I could just let you be amazed by the pictures, as we were by the real thing. It's an incredible piece of work, and only gets more marvelous as you get closer.

We walked along the banks of the river with the tiered blocks rising higher and higher overhead. We'd gotten there in the middle of the morning, and there weren't many people when we arrived, so it was quite peaceful, and we could hear the river running and the birds singing. After the three or a dozen busloads of schoolchildren arrived, it was much less peaceful.

There's an archaeological site nearby where they've discovered cave dwellings dating back about 20,000 years, so the history of the region definitely predates the Roman era, but the remnants of stone left by the prehistoric denizens aren't nearly as impressive as the engineering feat spanning the gorge nearby.

There's a lot of graffiti chiseled into the stones, and some of it dates back to the 19th or even 18th century. According to the information sites, some of that graffiti is instructions for the builders, though that's so old there's probably not much remaining.

Hic cum parentibus Elisabeth.

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