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Step four – Wandering along a river

23 Aug

The river Gardon is what give the region its name, Region du Gard, and even if so hot (at the moment a very worrying lack of rain) it’s very beautiful…We spent the morning strolling around the little village of Remoulins, an old place along its banks…

Remoulins is located on the Gardon river, just downstream from the Pont du Gard (another beautiful memory from some years ago). It has a popular river-side beach during the summer, and a very intersting Medieval old village with remnants of fortified walls, towers and a 12th century church,.

It is also been called “capital of cherries ” until 2002, when some floods have ravaged the land dedicated to this crop.

The Salpêtrière grotto is a cave-like shelter near the southeast end of the Pont du Gard, but in the commune of Remoulins. This site was excavated by archeologists from 1872, and revealed a vast amount of Paleolithic artifacts and information. The Sartanette grotto is located more towards Remoulins, 600 m southeast of the end of the Pont du Gard, in the middle of the wooded hills, and accessible only by foot. Excavations began in this deep cave in 1967. Artifacts unearthed here have been dated to about 2300 BC…….it means a lot of lives have been lived along this river and in this place, sometimes it’s almost overwhelming to think about it…

A tribe of Celtic people called the Volques Arécomiques (who founded the town of Nîmes) built an oppidum, in the 4th century BC, on the hill of Marduel, 1 km southwest of the river. The site is now in the commune of St Bonnet-du-Gard.

During the 1st century BC, the Romans built the Uzès-Nîmes aqueduct and the famous Pont du Gard. From the southeast end of the Pont du Gard, the aqueduct zig-zagged through the Remoulins Forest to Lafoux, directly across the river from the town of Remoulins. From Lafoux, the aqueduct turned southwest towards Lédenon (home of a circuit track that we visited the first time we were here. Now it’s open only for races and it can be rented by appointment to private clubs).

The town began in 736 by Charles Martel, who had camped here following his victory over the Saracens. During the 9th and 10th centuries the Saint Martin chapel and the Ferregut mill were built. Remoulins was fortified in the 11th century, with walls and towers. The Notre-Dame de Bethlehem church was built in the 12th century.

We had a little walk along the river left bank (the most shaded) and it was really nice, the breeze brought lots of different flowers and plants smells….it was so refreshing…

For lunch we found a creperie that made all its dishes gluten-free….obviously we obliged! It was so good, we had a “galette bretonne” with potatoes, creme-fraiche and smoked salmon….and a sweet one with strawberry cream and jam as dessert…

In the afternoon the sun was playing hide-and-seek, but it was even hotter if possible, so we thought that maybe, near the water it would have been a little better….it wasn’t but the landscape was amazing…

After a drink break (I really think it was the hottest day of our vacation…) we drove back to our B&B, knowing we had added another pearl to our necklace of travels’ memories…

 

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Posted by on August 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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