I visited Pont du gard with a little tour group, Provence Panorama, out of Avignon. While I didn’t get to be a solitary flâneur (wanderer), (and therefore had to sketch quickly), I did love the leader and I tremendously enjoyed my group companions! The half day tour also took us to Nîmes and Uzès with our leader's passionate, informative commentary along the way.
I'd seen it from a distance (beautiful), in photos (impressive), but up close, with its scale and symmetry, it made my heart beat fast! It's a Roman aqueduct bridge, built in the 1st century, that is part of a 31 mile aqueduct between Usès and Nîmes!! It's the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges (157 feet) and the 2nd best preserved in the world. In the Middle Ages it was used as a toll bridge. Today it's a park and museum.
Above: a page from a pamphlet pasted into my journal. So, what is an aqueduct? According to HowStuffWorks.com (click here for a great video), Romans created canals and tunnels through which water traveled for miles to reach cities by means of gravity! Back in the 1st century, the Romans knew how to slant the tubes at just the right angle to make the water flow!
The above ink and watercolor sketch is an 8X10 inch "translation" of one of my small, quick colored pencil sketches. I'm remembering fondly the place, as well as my 5 great companions from France, India and New Zealand. English was spoken with 4 different pronounciations, and French in 3 different accents!