May 8, 2016
The day started with a full breakfast prepared in our villa as it was Mother’s Day and we are in St. Remy de Provence…how’s that for a reason? On the agenda was a walk around town then we headed out to the visit the Pont du Gard. The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman Aquaduct that was constructed starting in 50 AD to carry water from a source high up in the hills to a town called Nimes supply large amounts of water needed for its baths, fountains and gardens. It spans the river Gardon on three levels for a distance of nearly 500 meters. Constructed of stone quarried from a local source–some weighing 6 tons–the structure has stood for centuries in spite of being subjected to pilfering of stone materials taken for use on other local building projects over the last few hundred years. The aquaduct is a beautiful reminder of the technical ingenuity and determination that existed almost 2000 years ago. If you have an opportunity to visit Pont du Gard, you should go. While you’re there, you can take several different hikes on trails that lead through the wooded area that probably hasn’t changed much in character since the aqueduct was built. Of particular interest, there is a 1000 year old olive tree that was transplanted into the park. It’s pretty amazing, too.
From Pont du Gard, we returned to St. Remy de Provence and visited the sanitarium where Vincent Van Gogh suffered and sought help from the mental anguish he exerienced during his las few years of life. St. Remy de Provence was his home for several years and served as a resource for inspiration and search for an inner peace he never found.
The area around the hospital served as the back drop for Van Gogh’s paintings and you can almost feel the images on his paintings come alive as you wander through the town of St. Remy de Provence and the hospital gardens.
One final note, as I mentioned earlier, blogging while on the move is quite a bit of late night work and after a few glasses of excellant wine, I find that I’m going to need to come back and proof read and do some further editing with more detail and photos. So, keep checking back in the future for more experiences from our trip.
Tomorrow: We leave St. Remy de Provence and head south to Nice and Cape Ferrat.