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France Trip Pictures (Page 1 of 2) from July 29 to August 07, 2008

France was all about having fun on the motorcycles, as we knew we would be back to see its history at a later date. France Photos Page 1 covers the Pyrenees and Cote of Rhone country. France Photos Page 2 led us through the French Alps and to Strasbourg. We had to detour into Geneva, Switzerland due to a rear drive failure, which gave us a chance to take in the sites of the city. To check out Switzerland Photos or read more proceed to France & Switzerland Journal.

Our Route through FRANCE. Covered approx. 1500km on the motorcycles.

July 29, 2008. We enter France from Spain at the PORT DE LARRAU (1573m).

Fog or Cloud is moving fast up the mountain side and...

...starts to engulf us in seconds.

This is the beginning of our exploration of the PYRENEES.

Our goal was to follow some of the route of the famous Tour de France.

Wherever you turn there is some evidence or monument to the Tour de France.


Route du just what we are looking for... we are huge cheese lovers. We set up camp just outside of Laruns & enjoy locally produced cheese & French Wine.

July 30, 2008. We hoped for blue sky & were not disappointed.

This is the way to see the Pyrenees on a motorcycle with not a cloud in the sky.

We start our first climb of the day to the ...

...COL D' AUBISQUE (1709m).

Not much traffic this early in the day except for cows.

We have only seen these mountains on TV as we followed the Tour de France.

Here we are close up and personal.

The Col d' Aubisque is followed directly by the COL DU SOULOR (1474m).

Traffic yet again consists mostly of bicyclist...

...who spent hours and hours climbing these steep roads.

The scenery does not get any better then this.

We ride through the town of Argeles-Gazost and turn at Luz St-Sauveu... summit the famous COL DU TOURMALET (2115m).

The summit pass is bicyclist mania.

There is always a spot for the motorcycles to park & to enjoy the view.

Markings on the road a faded reminder that the Tour de France...

...passed through here only a couple of weeks earlier.

Surrounded by mountains...

...and great motorcycle roads.

From Ste-Marie-de Campan we continue toward ...

...COL D' ASPIN (1489m).

Mike poses with the sign, bicyclist and cows in the background.

The descend yet again marked with names of the ...

...Tour de France riders.

The D618 leads us to the COL DE PEYRESOURDE (1563m).

We are making good time.

Another picture with Mike and the Col de Peyresourde sign.

The descend a maze of beautiful corners.

Low on fuel we detour into Spain at Les for some cheaper gasoline.

Map of our current location. (Riberes deth Portilhon)

Our last pass for the day COL DE PORTET D' ASPET (1069m).

We camp close to Castillon near St-Girons.

July 31, 2008 we travel all the way to Pont de Gard by Nimes.

August 01, 2008. Our first stop is the town of ORANGE...

...and a well preserved Roman Theatre dating back to the 1st Century AD.

Statue of Augustus Caesar.

The area beside the Theatre has also been excavated...

...exposing more Roman ancient dwellings and temples.

Houses and the streets of Orange are virtually encroaching on the site.

The access tunnels that lead to the Theatre seats.

Adjacent to the Theatre is the Municipal Museum. You have to have grown up in Germany to know who this is.

Another Roman monument not far from the Theatre is the Triumphal Arch.

It was built around 20AD.

The arch depicts battle scenes.

From Orange we ride across the beautiful Cote de Rhone country to ARLES.

One of the must see sights is the Roman Amphitheater.

The Arches are supported by Doric ...

... and Corinthian Columns.

There has been extensive restoration on the arena.

The outer wall is mostly original.

The view from the top over the Arles is superb.

Most of the seating has been added by modern scaffolding.

In the summer bull fights are performed inside the ground.

21,000 seats allow from a lot of spectators.

A quick check on the motorcycle which is parked just on the street below.

Next stop in Arles is the Roman Theater.

Unfortunately there is not much left of it...

...besides a fountain and a couple of columns.

The Eglise St-Trophine (Church).

The main portal is carved with saints and apostles.

All that remains of the Palais Constantine is the Roman Baths...

...which dates back to the 4th Century AD.

South-east of Arles lies the Les Alyscamps.

Graves, cippus, sarcophagi and mausoleums...

...make up this Roman Cemetery.

We follow the graves path,...

...which was littered with sarcophagi on both sides.

The path ends at the Church of Saint-Honorat.

The inside of the church, through plain in decor...

... was great for taking pictures...

... as the light filtering through the small windows.

A hidden stairway lead to a small room below the Altar.

More Sarcophagi are displayed.

A beautiful stained window lightens up the room.

Our next destination leads us back close to our camp site.


This place brings back memories.

29 years ago Ruby stood on top of this Roman Aqueduct Bridge. Note this is no longer allowed.

The site is now a full blown tourist attraction.

In 1986 the Pont de Gard was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In total the Aqueduct used to run 50km from Uzes to Nimes.

The panoramic view from the upper level of the bridge.

We join a guided tour across the upper level inside the actual Aqueduct.

There are huge build up of calcium deposits...

...on the interior walls of the water channels.

It is believed that the water channels were used approx. for 400 to 500 years.

A mean looking bee takes on a spider and wins.