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Driving around the south of France

I haven’t written much over the past three days because they’ve been something of a whirlwind. We rented a car for two days earlier this week, and we packed a lot of sights into a short rental period.

The first day we drove to St. Guilhem le Desert to visit the medieval abbey and pilgrimage waypoint there, stopping for photos of Pont du Diable along the way. Then we doubled back in the direction of Montpellier, veering south to see the old cathedral at Maguelone, followed by stops at several beaches in the area.

The next day we visited areas to the east of Montpellier, touring the old walled city of Aigues-Mortes, from which two crusades were launched. While there we visited the tower and walked the entire length of the ramparts, giving us a great view of the region.

From there we continued to Saintes Marie de la Mer. The view of the sea was pleasant, but the rest of the town was a bust. Even the church was closed.

We turned north and drove for almost an hour to Pont du Gard. We took the opportunity to climb one of the trails above the aqueduct, and we were rewarded with a breathtaking view under nearly perfect skies.

The car rental experience couldn’t have been more painless. We were offered a larger car with a diesel engine for ten extra euro per day, and we took it. It was undoubtedly a lot more comfortable, and we likely took back some of the extra cost in fuel savings. Furthermore, when we asked the agent about parking overnight, he gave us an extra ticket for their lot near the train station, less than a ten-minute walk from our apartment.

Curt Gilman
Curt Gilman