At the Pont du Gard this Monday, July 1, the calm before the tourist storm of summer

At the Pont du Gard this Monday, July 1, the calm before the tourist storm of summer

Marche, canoë ou baignade dans le Gardon, les visiteurs profitent du site du Pont du Gard, pas encore au niveau des fréquentations estivales. Midi Libre – Axel Dumond

Les touristes, français ou étrangers, arrivent progressivement dans le département. Au Pont du Gard, la saison estivale débute doucement.

F, B, D, E… No, it's not scrabble but abbreviations of European countries. They can be found on the registration plates of the right bank parking lot of the Pont du Gard. Near the Gardon, sun and cicadas attest that summer has arrived. And the first summer tourists are here.

The summer holidays this Saturday

Two German couples, on vacation in the region, spend the day around the Roman monument. They discovered the Pont du Gard on the Internet. "It seemed beautiful", they say.

On the site, there are few families with children. "It's not yet the holidays [school]", recalls Hélène. La Versaillaise is on vacation with her sister in Rognonas, very close to Avignon. She goes canoeing with her nephews and goddaughter.

Swimming before overcrowding

On the banks of the Gardon, a group of students, regulars at Pont du Gard, are celebrating the end of the exams. They arrive from Avignon, by bus. "If we come later [in the season]< em> there will be a lot of people", says Matisse. The five friends are there "to jump" and swim. The water is not too cold?

"Once inside it's good", says Kim, a resident of Yonne.&nbsp ;She takes advantage of swimming, before the summer crowds. "Afterwards, it’s crowded", assures Max, his companion from Nîmes. They have vanilla-chocolate ice cream at the Bistro du Pont du Gard, served by Raphaël.

The inevitable English language

"The day after the elections is a little calm", notes the seasonal worker from Remoulin. "It starts slowly but surely." "Have a nice day&quot ;, (Editor's note: Have a good day) repeats the law student to English-speaking clients. Mastering English is "obligated".

"We don't speak much French", confirms Manon, seasonal at Petites Terrasses, which sells ice creams, sandwiches and salads. "They are mostly foreigners", explains Chloé, her colleague. This Monday, The establishment has implemented summer hours. It now closes every day at 11 p.m.

At the restaurant next door, the assistant manager estimates that "the real season has not yet started". It will probably be from mid-July, like in 2023.

To attract visitors, restaurateurs are counting on the sound and light show, projected every evening on the Bridge until September 1st.

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