L’aqueduc des Medici

Dieses Jahr ist der 400. Geburtstag des Aquädukts der Medici (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqueduc_M%C3%A9dicis). Es wurde gebaut, um Paris mit Wasser zu versorgen. Sowohl als Trinkwasser für die Bevölkerung, als auch um zwei Fontänen im Jardin de Luxembourg zu speisen.
Das Aquedukt folgt dem Verlauf des alten römischen Aquedukts aus dem 2. Jhd. (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqueduc_de_Lut%C3%A8ce). Es nahm Wasser aus Quellen in Rungis, 10 km südlich von Paris, überquerte das Bièvretal auf einer großen Aquäduktbrücke, und gelangte nach Paris in der Nähe des Parcs Montsouris, um durch das Observatorium im Jardin de Luxembourg zu enden. Große Teile des Aquädukts sind heute unterirdisch, und zum Teil nicht mehr vorhanden. Innerhalb Paris ist noch ein Teil vom Observatoriumgelände aus zugänglich. Die große Brücke ist in Arceuil-Cachan, auf die ein neueres Aquädukt aus dem 20. Jhrd. gebaut wurde.

Vor ein paar Jahren fuhr ich mit dem Fahrrad die Strecke des Aquädukts ab, bis Cachan. Irgendwann muss ich noch den Rest bis Rungis fahren. Zu sehen sind heute meist nur noch die Reste der Zugangsschächte. Hier sind einige Photos:


Puy Surprise (aka Puy de Var, our #5)

Another weekend, another Puy. Despite another week being counted down to Jour J, and plenty of other things to do this week-end (2x sage-femme, medieval festival at Montferrand, administrative work), M and I decided to tackle our last puy (in our list of 5 before Jour J): Puy de Chanturgue.

We drove around the Côtes de Clermont to its Eastern side, and then into the hilly area, towards our Puy. Unfortunately, the first road ended in the middle of the forest. We returned back down, and took the next road to the North, which went further up, but was declared a non-motorized road after some point. Our puy was now South, on the other side of a ridge. But according to the map, just a bit North of us, was another peak, the Puy de Var!

We decided not to drive further into the parc, to not unnecessarily intrude the quietude of the area (although plenty of other cars did) and started walking. After a hundred meters, the path went on a trail off the road, leading to a series of steps. After another 20 minutes climb through scrubs and flowery meadows, we reached the partly rocky top of Puy de Var! It offered a great view onto Clermont, and we could see all our four previously conquered puys.

View from Puy de Var

View from Puy de Var towards South. On the left Puy de Dôme. In the foreground middle-left is Puy de Chanturgue.

Montferrand and Puy de Cruël behind it.

Montferrand with its red roofs and the black Notre-Dame church. The Puy de Cruël can be seen behind the town.

The Côtes de Clermont is a vast natural parc area, with a big and well-signposted trail network. It’s very close to the city yet remains relatively unknown and off the tourist streams of Puy de Dôme. Some archeological findings indicate that this could have been the actual site of the battle  between Gauls and Romans instead of Gergovie in 52 BC.

Puy #4

Last weekend Melissa and I defeated Puy #4, the Puy de Montrognon. Our goal is to climb five Puys before we become a family of three. The previous Puys were Gravenoire, Crouel and Dôme.

Montrognon is well visible from Beaumont and the surrounding hills and mountains. The ruins on its top and gentle slopes with fields and trees make it a picturesque view. We’ve talked about hiking up the Puy every time we went for a doctor’s visit at Clinique de la  Châtaingeraie  in Beaumont. And finally, this Sunday, equipped with a car to compensate for the non-existing public transport in the outskirts of Clermont, we finally went up.

Obviously the difficulty of our hikes is reducing, at about the same rate as the belly is getting bigger. We drove to the last residential houses on the slopes of Montrognon, and climbed up the last bit of a few hundred meters. The trail was steep enough to slow us down a lot.

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The ruins at the top of the Puy used to be a watch tower from a twelfth-century Chateau. It’s surprisingly narrow up there, I wonder how a whole Chateau could fit into this small space. It was partially dismanteled in the 17th century by Richelieu in his attempt to reduce the power of the French nobility.

Puy de Montrognon

Puy de Dôme