One of the longest road trips I ever made. When I was a teenager I went on a canoeing trip on the beautiful river Ardèche in the south of France. We also visited the Pont du Gard and the city of Avignon but my memories were fading. That is why I decided to return to these places and to go down to the Mediterranean Sea with a final stop at Marseille, France.
French people admit that going through Paris, France by car is hard work – but it’s not top of the list. Marseille is the worst of all. Located at the Mediterranean coast and with 1.8 million inhabitants a big city you should really think about driving in there – I was pretty exhausted when I finally managed to get my car into an underground car park in the city center.
Maybe the most beautiful building in Avignon, France – the palace of the popes. At the beginning of the 14th century Avignon became the seat of the Catholic popes for about 70 years (because Rome, Italy wasn’t secure enough). Therefore a palace vast in size and strongly fortified was built which was home to seven popes and five antipopes.
“Sur le pont d’Avignon,
L’on y danse, l’on y danse,
Sur le pont d’Avignon
L’on y danse tous en rond.
Les beaux messieurs font comme ça
Et puis encore comme ça.
Sur le pont d’Avignon
L’on y danse tous en rond.”
– French folk song
I guess everyone has heard the chanson “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” before. Today the Pont Saint-Bénézet in Avignon, France isn’t a real bridge anymore – it is only a ruin, a stub leading on the river Rhône. But it is still the landmark of the town. It was built in the 12th century and was 900 meters long – making it the longest bridge in Europe by that time.
The Pont du Gard is a famous Roman aqueduct crossing the river Gard or Gardon close to the city Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France. It is an impressive building from the 1st century CE and was part of a 50 kilometers long system transporting water to the city of Nîmes. It is 49 meters high and is surrounded by a very good touristic infrastructure.
Once a year I’m doing a road trip to remote places that cannot be reached by car and this time I wanted to see Le Mont-Saint-Michel close to Pontorson, France. It is the most visited spot in France outside of Paris. I combined this with a night in Bruges, Belgium and therefore had a trip to two of the most romantic places in Europe. Continue reading “Romantic atmosphere”
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is a town with 41 inhabitants and 3.5 million visitors a year close to Pontorson, France. It is the most visited tourist spot outside Paris and consists of a magically placed church on a small island at the atlantic, surrounded by a small town and walls. In earlier days you could only get there at low tide, nowadays you can walk or take a shuttle bus the whole day. Continue reading “Church, mountain, island”
I’ve been to Paris, France several times as a child, assisting my parents as a translator with my limited knowledge of French. But there were different things I didn’t know by then and I never visited the bunch of art museums within the city. That is why I booked a hotel in Montmartre and returned for a marathon. Continue reading “High speed sightseeing”