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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 04 Sep 2007

Location: Millau, France

MapThe Porters and the Sayers headed off today for a day’s driving through the French countryside, intending to see one of the world’s great feats of modern engineering. Millau is a large town north of Breziers and Montpelier, and lies at the bottom of a large valley on the major route between Paris and Spain. The Millau viaduct is a bridge built earlier this decade across the entire valley to stop traffic having to drive through town. The roadway is 240 metres above the valley floor, and you drive across two and a half kilometers of bridge to get from one side of the valley to the other. It truly is like driving in the sky … the town on Millau is only a small point below you in the luscious green countryside. You have to see this thing to believe that it’s possible to build such a delicate and graceful structure. What can I say … the Millau Viaduct is amazing – check our photos. French ingenuity is hard to surpass.
On the way home, we pulled off the motorway and called into a little seaside town called Agde, just so we could dip our toes into the Mediterranean Sea. This is obviously a resort town, dominated by hotels and retirement villages (even a “a la naturale” resort). The beaches had lovely sand and clear blue water that were being enjoyed by brown-skinned people of all ages. The marina was full of hundreds of leisure boats. The temperature was markedly warmer than further inland, and by the tans on the locals, this place sees more sunshine than many other places in France that we’ve seen.