Pont du Gard, the Roman Aqueducts

France, Provence

I visit the famous roman aqueduct in France.


Summer 2012

Pont du Gard is an aqueduct bridge, built during the Roman empire’s reign, circa 40-60 AD. The bridge crosses Gardon river, and the views from the walkway are spectacular.

Heading toward the bridge

Heading toward the bridge

After a headachingly long bus ride, we pulled into the parking lot. When pulling up to the structure, one of the girls on our trip (from a different school than mine), asked the trip guide: “Is this the Coliseum?” He paused for a moment and said “…No…no this is not the coliseum…” The statement was so ridiculous that my friends and I joked about it for the rest of the trip. Every time we saw a famous building we would ask things like, “Is this the great pyramids?” “Is this the empire state building?”

We stifled our laughter and stepped out of the bus and into a gorgeous day. Bright warm sunshine and puffy white clouds. 

Tree at the beginning of the aqueducts

Tree at the beginning of the aqueducts

We walked toward the golden brown archways, smelling warm dirt and olive trees, and feeling a cool breeze wafting up from the green blue waters below.

The arches of the aqueduct

The arches of the aqueduct

Walking along the aqueduct

Walking along the aqueduct

"Is this the Colosseum?"

“Is this the Colosseum?”

Local French children laughed and swam in the sparkling waters below, and many people rolled their jeans up to wade in the cool wetness that the river offered.

View from the aqueduct

View from the aqueduct

At one point walking across the aqueduct, we saw an elderly woman hunched over in a wheelchair. She had two other elderly people with her, we weren’t sure if they were her children, fully grown and with grandkids of their own, or if they were merely two of her lifelong friends. Either way, they helped the old woman up out of her wheelchair for a few brief moments, so that she could peer over the top and down at the gorgeous views. We got teary-eyed, knowing that this was probably a dying wish or a lifelong dream of hers.

View from one side of Pont du Gard

View from one side of Pont du Gard

View of Gardon river from another side of Pont du Gard

View of Gardon river from another side of Pont du Gard

I don’t blame her for wanting to come to such a beautiful place.

Pont du Gard on a beautiful sunny day

Pont du Gard on a beautiful sunny day

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