Road Trip, Day 10

The lovely Viaduc de Garabit, with contrails that seem to be celebrating something.

Today was a travel day, as I moved from Le Mont Dore in the Puy-de-Dôme region to Aubrac in the Aveyron. I drove through both the Cantal and the Lozère to get here.

Aubrac, as you can see by the red dot, is right at the point where three départements meet: the Cantal, the Lozère and the Aveyron. And keen eyes will note that I’ve come nearly full-circle since the start of the trip in Saint-Geniez-d’Olt.

I didn’t drive directly here, and along the way I found myself on more than one very tiny country road (which I adore), and I also found myself waiting in traffic stops for road construction. Thus, there wasn’t much exploring being done, and there aren’t a lot of photographs.


My first stop was to visit the lovely Viaduc de Garabit, for which Gustav Eiffel was the construction engineer. This bridge came several years before its famous cousin, the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This was not a straightforward construction project, and it involved some top-notch engineering by the Eiffel team.

The resulting span was used regularly until 2009, when an inspection showed some cracks. They were repaired, and the bridge reopened, with a 10-kilometer per hour speed limit.

I wasn’t sure if I’d manage to see this, and then suddenly, there was a sign for the turnoff. I took it. This is the Viaduc de Garabit, built by Gustav Eiffel in 1882-1884.
Looking straight up one of the towers that supports the flat span, also one end of the bridge’s lone arch. Eiffel’s company had already established itself as among the best engineering firms in the world, so it was easy to reward the company with this project. I spoke with one fellow who said there are only six bridges in Europe with this single-arch design.
This is a view through one of the short tunnels in the heavy footings of the bridge. I made this photograph because the shadow looks a lot like what I imagine a collapsing Eiffel Tower would look like.

The rich green countryside of the Aveyron. This scene is near the town of Nasbinals.
Another view of the countryside, plus the biggest cowbell I’ve ever seen.
This is one part of the old hospital, built in the 15th century.
A lovely old house in Aubrac. It has the lauzes roof that is so common in this region.