A tale of two bridges

7 Jun
7 June 2016. There is no question the ancient Romans were talented engineers. The Colosseum in Roma is still standing after almost 2000 years while the courthouse in Salem, Oregon, was condemned after 10 years due to construction problems.
Me at the amazing Pont du Gard. Still standing after 2000 years.

Me at the amazing Pont du Gard. Still standing after 2000 years.

At Avignon there are two famous bridges: The Pont du Gard and the Pont Saint-Bénézet. The Pont du Gard is as old as the Colosseum (1st century A.D.) and still standing, but the Pont Saint-Bénézet (aka Pont d’Avignon), built between 1177 and 1185, was abandoned in the mid 17th century as they could not keep the arches from collapsing when the Rhône River flooded. Today the four surviving arches on the bank of the Rhône are believed to have been built in around 1345 and are all that remain. It is a bridge to nowhere.
The bridge to nowhere, that is the "Pont du Avignon."

The bridge to nowhere, that is the “Pont du Avignon.”

Roman engineering triumphs, but not necessarily the Romans of today. Overall it seems to us that maintenance is not a priority. Italians wait until something is broken to fix it.
We’ve stopped in Antibes and Avignon visiting Nice and Arles while in the vicinity, followed by a few chilly days in Chamonix during which Mont Blanc refused to reveal itself. We navigated through the French train strike with minor inconveniences and we ate our share of baguettes and too much cheese. We had a fabulous pizza in Antibes, of all places, and a terrible one — one of the worst ever — in Chamonix. (I’ll blog about this one shortly at Our Weekly Pizza.)
Following are a few travel photos with captions for those inclined to click through the slideshow.
A presto!



8 Responses to “A tale of two bridges”

  1. ckleonard June 7, 2016 at 19:19 #

    What a wonderful trip this way. I love the slide show. I am seeing and learning so much from your blogs. Thank you for taking the time to share all the wonderful things your are seeing and experiencing.


    • gooddayrome June 8, 2016 at 05:49 #

      Thank you dear Carolyn! We take hundreds of pictures and I just have to so something with some of them! Happy to share!


  2. Gayle Seely June 7, 2016 at 17:41 #

    Lovely post, Laurel. I have always loved Van Gogh’s View of the courtyard at the hospital at Arles. For some reason I can look at the composition for a long time – let it lead my eye up and down the pillars, into the hidden halls, etc. I realize that he, too, probably stared at that view for a long time.
    Have never made it to Avignon, alas, but it is on the list. Thanks for sharing. The hotel looks really nice.



    • gooddayrome June 7, 2016 at 17:46 #

      Grazie, Cara Gayle! We loved seeing where he had painted. I do hope you can get to Avignon. So much there in the south of France! So much we’ve seen in famous paintings by so many artists. The Picasso Museum in Antibes was very sweet: small and approachable.


  3. Susan Morgan June 7, 2016 at 17:02 #

    Can there be such a thing as “too much cheese”…….especially French cheese?????


    • gooddayrome June 7, 2016 at 17:17 #

      After six mornings of baguette and cheese (plus some yogurt and muesli now-and-then) I was feeling like a fruit cup was in order. Or maybe peanut butter on whole grain toast. If I lived in France I would look like the Michelin Man.

      On the other hand, we are in Switzerland and feel like we can barely afford to eat. Last night at a Mexican place, they wanted 10.00CHF for chips and salsa, which last-I-knew were free in Stati Uniti! Two Mexican dinners, 4 glasses of local wine, 103.00 CHF. Ugh! Still getting good cheese at breakfast though. 🙂 But no baguette. 😦


  4. Marcia June 7, 2016 at 16:20 #

    That woman wearing heels while ‘hiking’… I would break my ankle for sure. Nice does look beautiful as does that HUGE yacht. Nice little boat😎. Yes the early Romans certainly did build it to last something marketing does not allow anymore because they want to come out with a ‘new and improved ‘ version after a few years.👀


    • gooddayrome June 7, 2016 at 17:19 #

      I may start a series of pictures of inappropriate footwear. Yesterday on a mountain I saw a Japanese woman in blue kitten heels. Ha!

      “New and improved” should not mean it has to fall down in 10 years….or even 100. Shudder to think of the lack of home maintenance. When you come visit we’ll tell you our stories. Glad we are renting here!


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