Today's Wonder of the World is...the Viaduc de Millau, the tallest vehicular bridge in the world!
It's so tall that the Eiffel Tower could fit underneath it!
It's 125 feet shorter than the Empire State Building. At it's highest point, it's 894 feet above the Tarn River.
Usually I like my bridges much smaller.
Here's one out at Furman University where Sam and I took a bike ride/walk last week.
I used to be afraid of bridges. I was sure that they would fall apart right when my family was in the middle, just like in the movies.
Also I kept reliving the story of the Billy Goats Gruff.
Trip Trap. Trip Trap.
There's a troll under there, I just know it.
But hey, he's not so bad.
Here's a famous bridge you might recognize.
Know which one it is?
It's the one at Giverny, at Monet's garden. If you're feeling the least bit envious, I should tell you that at the very moment at which I snapped this shot, Sam was throwing a big fit and wouldn't get off the bridge. See him? He's in the yellow raincoat.
And the lady in the skirt to the side of Todd had just told Todd not to feel bad, that she once had her picture taken at the same spot and "I was every bit as naughty. My parents couldn't do a thing with me either."
Anyway, back to the bridge we're discussing today...
Didn't I tell you? It's in France too!
And it's through a beautiful part of France. But aren't all parts of France beautiful?
Every time we'd drive south towards the Mediterranean, (again, if this sounds too La-ti-dah for you, just picture a tiny clown car packed to the brim with children, all wanting to know When do we get there? and saying they have to pee, when there's a serious lack of rest rooms in that beautiful country!) As I was saying, every time we drove down south, we'd drive through that valley and stop just to gawk at the beauty. The green rolling hills, the rushing river. The villages. The food. (It's always the food.) And the entrance (kind of) to Provence.
The bridge was started before we left, but didn't finish until we were long gone. As you can see by the map (yellow line) it provides a direct route south for folks from Paris, right through Clermont Ferrand. The bridge is the red dot. Maybe those Parisians will stop in Auvergne, Clermont's region, and come to appreciate how gorgeous and medieval it is!
Or maybe not. It will stay a secret for the rest of us!
I looked through my pictures and I have a terrible lack of photos from the area around the bridge. But I did find this. It's a beautiful slide show of pics of the region and of the bridge, as it was being built and after it was finished, accompanied by the incredible melancholy voice of Francis Cabrel. I think you'll like it.