Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pont du Gard and Nimes

Hey everyone! So, last Saturday (Jan 22nd) I got to see the famous Roman aqueduct the Pont du Gard and the city of Nîmes. This was the first free excursion for anyone in the University of Minnesota program and it was coordinated by one of the program supervisors. We left Saturday morning around 8:30am and by bus the trip only took about an hour to get to the Pont du Gard. First, we got to walk through the museum about the Pont du Gard and ancient Roman life in Nîmes. This part was not very exciting to me because I really just wanted to go see the aqueduct first hand, and last semester I had already learned about it in my ancient art history class. It was a beautiful, sunny day, but as my host mom warned me, it was super windy at the Pont du Gard!
One of the first views I had
The top two levels of arches

The Pont and I

Not only can you walk across the Pont, but also there are many paths on either end that lead to the top level of the Pont and the woods surrounding it. Another girl and I found an awesome tunnel and took shelter from the wind for a while.

After about an hour and a half at the museum and the Pont du Gard we all boarded the bus again and headed to the city of Nîmes. In ancient Roman times the Pont du Gard was built to bring water to the city since it did not have a natural water source to begin with. When we arrived we had about an hour to go get lunch wherever we wanted in the city. So, a few friends and I just stopped at a random café. They had some interesting stuff on their menu. One of my friend’s ended up ordering a filet of Kangaroo! After lunch we had a two and a half hour tour of the monuments in the city. It was a nice tour, but since it was so cold out I was ready to be done after an hour or so.
The Roman Arena

la Maison Carrée

My favorite historical aspect of the city was their official symbol that could be found on everything! It’s a crocodile with a chain around its neck and a palm leaf/tree. The design originally came from an ancient coin and represents Rome’s success in taking over Egypt. I tried to ask the guide if she knew how many crocodiles there are in the city, but she had no idea because there is practically an indefinite amount.

That's all for now!

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