TO DO | MUSEUM
One not-to-miss must-see place in the Languedoc is the Pont du Gard. This Roman monument, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dates back more than 2,000 years. Le Pont du Gard has gloriously stood the test of time, as even nowadays this is a popular spot both for locals and visitors. Culture and history go hand in hand with outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, canoeing and even more!
Chéri, the kids and I went to the magnificent Pont du Gard on a perfect sunny day. As we were planning to come back during our stay in the Gard, we bought an annual ticket for 15 euros per adult (kids have free admission). Both the regular entrance ticket (9,50 euros) as the annual one include a visit to the interesting and beautifully designed museum tracing the history of the Roman aqueduct. The Ludo Area is an interactive part of the museum especially designed for children from 5 to 12 years old. Highly entertaining for the little ones, our kids loved to playfully learn more about the history of this monument.
Ancient olive tree
After visiting the museum, the children were even more eager to see the actual bridge. Correction, aqueduct that is. The surrounding area includes well-paved walking trails, where you can walk for hours. There is also a marked circular walk of 1.4 kilometres, called ‘Mémoires de garrigue’, which lets you discover the Mediterranean landscape. As we were on the left side of the river Gardon, we walked passed an ancient olive tree. This tree dates from the year 908 (!) and was living in Spain until 1985, after which it was planted at the present site in 1988. No tree climbing here!
And there it was: the Pont du Gard in its full glory! The aqueduct was built in the first century AD as part of a 50-kilometre aqueduct system. It supplied the city of Nîmes with water from the Eure source near Uzès. As the water had to cross the river Gardon, the Roman aqueduct was constructed. A water bridge so to speak. Standing on the monument and gazing over the river Gardon, I was even more amazed by its architectural and technical construction.
Skimming stone contest
We continued our walk to the right side of the river, climbing the stairs to get another stunning view of the aqueduct. I think I took about a hundred pictures… Back on the left side, we found a great picnic spot on a pebbled beach. Perfect for the kids to organise a stone skimming contest. This is a lunch I will remember for a long time, with the Pont du Gard reflected in the river Gardon as a backdrop.