Friday, November 13, 2015

Millau, m'lady

On the way from Albi to Lyon, I sort of stole my Dad's ambition by visiting the Viaduct of Millau. We first got to see it from underneath, where there is a visitor's centre which takes guided tours inside one of the pillars, the tallest of which is 343 metres, making it the world's tallest bridge. Unfortunately, the tours only took place once an hour (or maybe once every half an hour, but whatever it was, it would have meant a long wait), and you weren't allowed to go outside on the side closest to the gorge without being on a tour, so it wasn't the best view.

We were going to just continue on our way, which actually didn't involve going over the viaduct, but we decided that since we had taken a detour to see the bridge, we may as well. This was lucky as, although driving over the viaduct itself wasn't so spectacular (it has high railings so you can't really see down over the sides), there is another visitor's centre on the far side of the bridge where we could actually get out and take photos of the whole thing. It's a pretty impressive feat.

The bridge from underneath

Driving over the viaduct

The view from the other side


Our route thenceforth to Lyon (we drove via Le-Puy-en-Velay, home of the famous lentils and also a large statue of the Virgin Mary) took us through the Massif Central. I had never been to this area, which apparently covers 15% of France, before, perhaps because there's not a lot there, really. Jules's French colleague told us it was known as the 'diagonale du vide' (empty diagonal) due to the low population densities and lack of large cities. It was fairly empty, but also very beautiful. It was really strange seeing the GPS telling us we were nearly a thousand metres up, yet be surrounded by green pastures and what was often flat land (with mountains on the horizon). I don't know what it looks like in winter, but in September you could have fooled me that we were at sea level most of the time.

High in the Massif Central

4 comments:

  1. Are the Lentils a boy band?

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    Replies
    1. They had an anthropomorphic statue of one of them on a roundabout, so maybe

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  2. Impressive bridge! Love that last photo - very nicely composed! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No composition about it, taken out the window of the car ;)

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