Saturday, September 10, 2011

Le Viaduc de Millau

Le Viaduc de Millau is the highest bridge in the world.
Have you even come across a structure that takes your breath away?  Le Viaduc de Millau is such a place. Built over the Tarn river valley, it is the highest bridge in the world.  We first saw the bridge when it was under construction. Thanks to the internet we were able to view pictures as it was finished.  We knew we had to come see the completed structure for ourselves.

The viaduc was built across the Tarn valley as part of the A75 autoroute. 
They needed to lessen the traffic on the small winding roads through the valley and the village of Millau. The A75 is the main route through France into Spain.  There were other routes they could have chosen to build which would not have required a bridge this spectacular.  I'm glad they chose this route and this bridge.  We paid a toll to help off set the costs: 6,40 euro.
We brought the tripod up with us, so took our own picture with the timer button.
There is a large aire, a place for people to stop, rest, eat, and take a walk.  They have built a trail up to the viewpoint.  It was very busy, even a tour bus full of Italians stopped and walked to the top to view the bridge.  One was a very well dressed young priest smoking a tiny black cigarette as he strode up the path.  The rest appeared to be older folks (even older than us!) who walked much slower.  We wondered if they were on a pilgrimage of sorts.
The Aire from atop the lookout point.  They have it blocked so you can only continue the way your were going, no switching directions allowed!
People had stopped for lunch, usually packing their own.  Some use the tables that are available, but many bring out their own chairs and small tables.  They have cutlery, dishes, glasses and proceed to set a nice table.  Even picnicing, the French relax and eat well.
Looking up river into the start of the Tarn Gorge.  A beautiful place to drive through, but we would have more fun in a sports car than a put-put rental that doesn't corner well.

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