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After Lunch, Les Voutes, Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France

As promised we’re continuing Stan Hampton’s journey today. It’s been fascinating so far, and I admire him for it. At this stage of my life I don’t know if I’d ever have the courage. So I’m going to live vicariously through Stan’s adventures. Join me!


The morning of 27 February I traveled by train to Marseilles where I changed trains for Aubagne. After that I had to take a bus to the village of Vers-Pont-du-Gard, a mere 4 kilometers from the famous Roman aqueduct, the Pont-du-Gard. Actually, I attempted to call a taxi, but that did not work. It took the help of a good friend in Montpellier who called for a taxi that took me to the “a Gauche du Pont,” a friendly bed and breakfast that was a momentary home. And a very nice home it was—my room was 200 years old and had a stone ceiling.

a gauche du Pont Bed & Breakfast, Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France

After a Continental Breakfast the morning of 28 February, Fabian, one of the owners of the “a Gauche du Pont” showed me the way along 4 kilometers of winding trails through the forest to the Pont-du-Gard. Though I walk over a mile every day at the Université and so am in better shape than in January, carrying a backpack filled with camera equipment was a bit tiring. But soon, I caught my first glimpse of the famous 2,000 year old Roman aqueduct that I had read about for so many years.

Pont-du-Gard, France

The Pont-du-Gard from the banks of the Gardon River. I did it! I was actually looking at, and had touched, the 2,000 year old architectural monument built by a people long gone.

Pont-du-Gard, France

Fabian and Veronique, the owners of “a Gauche du Pont”, and I had dinner in the nearby Medieval village of Castillon-du-Gard, then we went for a brief walk because I wanted to get some photos at night. It was a very brief walk because it was cold and windy.

Castillon-du-Gard, France

After a Continental Breakfast the morning of 1 March I caught the bus from Vers-Pont-du-Gard to Avignon. Faced with a 4-hour layover for the train to Arles, I opted for a bus—within an hour of my arrival I was on my way and arrived in Arles just about an hour later. Within an hour I set out to register for a tour into the famous Camargue the next day, plus spent the afternoon visiting the Roman amphitheatre and arena.

And yes, I did it. I was standing where, perhaps 2,000 years ago, actors, musicians, and singers performed for a packed audience who spoke Latin and ruled an Empire that encircled the Mediterranean Sea.

Roman amphitheatre, Arles, France

Wow. These pictures are fantastic. Readers, can you imagine actually standing there and snapping the photo? Not seeing it on a movie or television screen. Not reading about it. Actually being there. We have more of Stan’s journey to come. Come back next Tuesday for more.