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France Road Trip

Updated on July 7, 2011
The running of the black bulls.  This area of France raisings and "run" bulls.  Beautiful to see in the fields.
The running of the black bulls. This area of France raisings and "run" bulls. Beautiful to see in the fields.

During our stay in Montpellier we took two road trips.

The first day was into a region called the Camargue. It was magical. On our drive we saw everywhere black bulls and white horses. It turns out that this region is famous for “the running of the bulls”. Evidently Spain had occupied this area and when it became France, the bulls and horses stayed. The bulls, however, we were told later are quite different than those found in Spain, as they are smaller and much more agile... from the vantage point through our car windows they looked big to us :)

Our first stop on our road trip is to Aigues - Mortes. Aigues - Mortes is a sea castle and walled fortress. Appropriately it was cold and raining very hard that day, water ran through the streets and dripped off the statues and building eves.

A few things stood out to us as we ran through the street from one building to another - the first was that we were practically the only ones there and secondly people lived inside this castle... what looked like movie sets to us, were actual homes, markets and functional churches.

This day’s route included two other small towns - St Giles and Beaucaire we then headed back to Montpellier through Nimes.

The next tour day we thought we wanted to explore more of that region and went up to a village called Sommieres. Somehow we got goofed up and ended up driving somewhere else - later we found out that we were in the La Gard region of France.

Driving blindly around we experienced some very amazing things... a small town of Puchabon, lunch at St. Martin de Laurde and a drive over a Roman viaduct and bridge system called Le Pont du Diable.

We shared La Pont du Diable with about 6 other people... Later we read that over 600,000 people visited this site annually with often 20,000 daily visitors... guess the other 19,992 visitors had already come and gone for this day.

A view of Aigues-Mortes, the first sea castle we visited.  It was a short drive from Montpellier.
A view of Aigues-Mortes, the first sea castle we visited. It was a short drive from Montpellier.
Inside the castle.  Here is the wall and on the right are homes which people currently live.
Inside the castle. Here is the wall and on the right are homes which people currently live.
A close up of one of the streets where people live inside the castle.
A close up of one of the streets where people live inside the castle.
Loved this statue.  As we were driving down the road this statue caught our eye.  Fortunately a resident was outside so we could ask him where we were.  This is found in the village of Puechabon.
Loved this statue. As we were driving down the road this statue caught our eye. Fortunately a resident was outside so we could ask him where we were. This is found in the village of Puechabon.
In Puechabon, Gary was taking a photo for his "door" series.  I was taking a picture of my favorite muse.
In Puechabon, Gary was taking a photo for his "door" series. I was taking a picture of my favorite muse.
Sommiers another footnote city which we found outstanding.  The town square was amazing as was the town clock.
Sommiers another footnote city which we found outstanding. The town square was amazing as was the town clock.
On rare occasions we would see another person.  Most of the time as we wondered around the streets would be totally empty - no residents, no tourists... just us enjoying gleefully enjoying ourselves.
On rare occasions we would see another person. Most of the time as we wondered around the streets would be totally empty - no residents, no tourists... just us enjoying gleefully enjoying ourselves.
Lu Pont du Diablo Bridge.  We almost didn't stop... we ended up taking a huge walk - to see things that the Roman's built at the height of their empire was pretty amazing.
Lu Pont du Diablo Bridge. We almost didn't stop... we ended up taking a huge walk - to see things that the Roman's built at the height of their empire was pretty amazing.

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