French Provence – June 13

I dragged my feet about getting up and out the door. I was feeling pretty insecure about having to go out in search of food and coffee expecting few to speak English. I had an afternoon tour scheduled and I knew I wanted to get batteries for the back-up camera since my phone can’t make it through the day on a charge. I wandered down the street to the pick-up location for the tour and noticed a gas station. Hoping they’d have some batteries and food I headed that direction. Indeed, they had both. For some crazy reason I decided a Citrus Salmon sandwich sounded good. On the way back to the flat I thought about how stupid that was. Who buys fish at the convenience store without expecting dire consequences? I opened it up and it was scary so it immediately went in the trash. My only hope was finding something to eat at one of the stops on our tour.

The tour guide arrived and off we went for a whirlwind afternoon in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southeastern France. Traffic delayed the start of our tour so we only got about 30 minutes at our first stop, Gordes. It is a picturesque village perched on a hillside. With such a short stop there wasn’t much to do but wander through the little shops and circle the cathedral. I wandered into a little café and found myself a sandwich. I don’t know if it was so delicious because I was starving, or if it was just that good. I’m going with the later. So simple, a baguette, thin slice of ham, tomatoes, and mozzarella. One of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had.

Our small group piled into the van and were taken to Les Baux-de-Provence. This hillside village is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. Again our stay was sort and there isn’t a lot to explore except the different shops.

The last stop on our tour was the one I was most looking forward to, Pont du Gard. Here are some details from wikipedia. The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct that crosses the Gardon River in southern France. The bridge is part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 50-kilometer system built in the first century AD to carry water from a spring at Uzès to the Roman colony of Nemausus (Nîmes). Because of the uneven terrain between the two points, the mostly underground aqueduct followed a long, winding route that called for a bridge across the gorge of the Gardon River. The Pont du Gard is the highest of all elevated Roman aqueducts, and, along with the Aqueduct of Segovia, one of the best preserved.

The bridge has three tiers of arches, standing 48.8 m (160 ft) high. The whole aqueduct descends in height by only 17 m (56 ft) over its entire length, while the bridge descends by a mere 2.5 centimetres (1 in) – a gradient of only 1 in 3,000 – which is indicative of the great precision that Roman engineers were able to achieve, using only simple technology.

Our guide was nice enough to stop at a roadside fruit stand on the way back to Avignon. I bought a bag of black cherries. OMG they were so good! Just harvested earlier that day. I got back to the flat in Avignon just in time to get my work day started.

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