Viaduct de Millau

We are sitting here directly by the River Tarn just down from the Millau Bridge. What a day!

We left Linda and Ian this morning after some long au revoirs, they wanted to show us part of the route that St Jacques made to Santiago de Compostela in the middle ages, . Pilgrims still use this path today and for those stopping along the path they can obtain a ‘passport stamp’. According to research the route stretches 780 km (nearly 500 miles) from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz in France to Santiago.

2 stamps from Le Picarel & from the Abbey de Marcilhac sur Cele

We laid a stone on the cairn behind the house on the path, one day we might come and walk some of the way ourselves.

St Jacques de Compostelle route
Mike following St Jacques on his knees
Laying on stone on the trail behind Le Picarel
A hare runs away down the lane

We headed towards Rodez and Millau. We passed through some amazing hilltop villages again.

One of the many medieval villages we passed in the way

The road down was a free one today so happy days. E. LeClerc was the first stop to pick up supplies of pain, jambon, fromage et vin. The sun was high in the sky as we continued our way South.

The Millau Viaduct is amazing, we paid €12 toll (charged us a class 2, cars are cheaper), there is an aire du Millau Viaduct which is at the beginning and includes a free exhibition area where you can watch a dramatic film for 15 minutes which describes the construction of the bridge. It is the highest viaduct in the world to date, costing 400 million euros and took just 3 years to build. It is truly a feat of engineering and designed by Englishman Norman Foster.

Sculpture at the exhibition centre. Aire du Millau viaduct
Close up of sculpture
The viaduct spans the gorge

Once on the viaduct you have to look up, there is a gentle curve and the stays can be seen all  the way over. Because of the storm fences you cannot see the valley deep below, we exited at the next junction and turned towards the town of Millau. It’s not until we started coming down the mountain that we realised just how high we were. We stopped at a viewpoint and took the obligatory photos but unfortunately the sun was in the wrong position so we may have to return tomorrow.

We finally arrived in Millau and found a place to stay just outside town on the river bank,  settled down for the night after having supper.

Tonight the clocks go back so we had better remember this for tomorrow as we are not putting any radios or TV on at the moment. There is also a food festival in the town tomorrow so we may have a look see.

Millau Viaduct early morning

 

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