|And a little wine with lunch |
before you drive on
|Truckstop fare - dessert better than many restaurants|
One of the most spectacular sites on the journey south is not one nature developed, but one designed and built by man. The Millau Viaduct deserves the word awesome. Spanning the Tarn valley at 343 metres high and 2.5km long, the viaduct is a beautiful piece of design (Norman Foster, British architect) and engineering (Michel Verlogeux). It looks too fragile to hold the 127,000 cubic metres of concrete, 19,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel and 5,000 tonnes of pre-stressed steel for the cables and shrouds. The builder claims that the lifetime of the bridge will be at least 120 years. Never mind public private partnerships, it was totally financed by the builder (394 million Euro) in return for the concession to collect tolls for 75 years. The toll cost us about 6.70 E (just over $10NZ). And it was built in 3 years. And finished ahead of schedule. Hello Transmission Gully.
|The stunning Millau viaduct|
|Confit de canard ready to go|
We are now in a fantastic apartment with a small pool and lots of mod cons - well actually it is a 4 bedroom house in the country, bounded by vineyards and hay paddocks. We are in the Bas-Languedoc, just north of Carcassonne. 30 degrees today. We are enjoying a Campari and Perrier before making Confit de Canard (ready to go, not from my own fair hand I'm afraid) and cooking potatoes in duck fat. Asparagus and fennel to accompany. YUM, and yes, we are both getting fat - well, I'm getting fatter and the hunter-gatherer actually has a little muffin top happening.