Saturday, 19 April 2014

Twice Joli

Last Tuesday was our silver wedding anniversary. Despite life being rather full of grade sheets, evaluations, presentations and final classes we managed to go out for lunch as Antoinette dashed straight out at the end of her class in Tours which finished at 12:30. We'd asked friends Susan & Simon for a recommendation close to Tours. They suggested Le Val Joli in Vouvray.
Aqueduct: looking south towards Luynes
It didn't disappoint. From the outside it looks quite dusty and not terribly attractive, located as it is where there's a very busy set of traffic lights on the D952 which runs along the river Loire. Its terrace is right alongside the road; happily although sunny, it wasn't a day to sit outside. Inside it is pretty, smart and bright, quite elegant in fact. The welcome was friendly and the food excellent. We stuck to our habit of having the 'menu du jour' as a benchmark for a first outing. On Tuesday they served: homemade terrine de volaille, braised pig cheeks with rosemary and honey and caramelised apples on rice pudding for desert. The only downside was there were no alternatives so we had to lump it with the rice pudding. Not that the desert was bad --of its kind it was very good. It's just a pudding neither of us like :-)
Aqueduct: looking north in the direction of the source
After lunch we went and had a look at the Roman aqueduct at Luynes. As with many of the historic monuments in France it wasn't brilliantly sign-posted. In fact some of the sign posts were positively ancient themselves and you had to keep a very beady eye out to spot them!
The aqueduct is thought to date from the 2nd century AD and served to bring water to Malliacum as Luynes was known in Roman times. Water was sourced at the lieu-dit of La Pie Noir [black magpie] where there were springs and a small stream called Le Rin Joli.

Pyramidal shaped pillars
Built of pyramidal shaped pillars, originally it was 300 m long and traversed a dip in the plateau before the water supply was channeled underground for the remaining 1500 m. According to the information panel on site, it was significant enough to Malliacum to have been restored three times in antiquity. The panel also indicated that 6 of the 9 remaining arches are original and not restored.
"Aqueduct house"
A curious feature is a house which is built into/alongside the aqueduct. While we were there someone, presumably the owner, emerged, walked between 2 arches just beyond the corner of the house, re-appeared at the wheel of a small red car and drove off. An odd juxtaposition between the ancient and the modern!

12 comments:

ladybird said...

Happy belated wedding anniversary! Your post brought back many happy memories of an excellent lunch at the Val Joli in June 2009 and visits of the aquaduct in 2000 and 2013! Martine

the fly in the web said...

Happy anniversary...and to many more!

It was a struggle to find that aqueduct when I went years ago...the signs - when they exist - are probably the same ones.

rosaria williams said...

Happy Anniversary! Thanks for taking us along.

Carolyn said...

Happy anniversary, and many more to come.

Perpetua said...

Happy anniversary and your celebration meal sounds great, despite the rice pudding. :-) The aqueduct looks fantastic and I'm trying to imagine living under its arches.

The Broad said...

Happy 25th! What an extraordinary 'under the arches' sort of place to live...

MorningAJ said...

Congratulations on the anniversary.
What an amazing aqueduct. Fascinating place to visit.

GaynorB said...

Belated best wishes on your anniversary.

These days 25 years is quite an achievement! ;o)

I'm a fan of rice pudding... the thicker the better!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ALL - thank you for your good wishes :-) We had a lovely day.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - I suspect at least one of the signs we followed was a good 50 yrs old if not older!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - well if you'd been there your luck would have been in as we'd both have given you ours like a shot :-) !

Mary and Bill said...

Happy Anniversary! We had difficulty finding the aquaduct also, but it was worth it!