Monday, 20 October 2014

La Voie Romaine

Last week we stopped off at a piece of Roman road at Saint Cyr sur Loire on the outskirts of Tours. It's part of the main road that ran between Poitiers - Tours - Le Mans, and connected Spain with northern Gaul. Bits of this road pop up all over the place -- the new high speed rail line had to spend time on an archaelogical dig near Nouâtre for instance. For a full description of where the road goes see here. But what is truly extraordinary about this particular section of the road is that it is still in use as a road, with its original Roman era surface. Local residents come and go on it all the time. 


I particularly enjoy that a cycle path has been laid down one side of the road.
Should you need any help planning your Roman style journey, this website will help, and this one goes even further, allowing you to work out how long it will take, depending on whether you are walking, marching, riding or going by boat, and how much it will cost. Hours of fun and displacement activity...

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful, we'll have to go and look!!

    Pauline and moi were on a Headwater's walking holiday the year we first started to look for La Forge...
    it was called "The Valleys of the Meuse"... but was all along the ridges next door and you could barely see the river at all...
    but we did stumble...
    literally...
    on a perfectly preserved section of Roman road...
    about two hundred metres worth....
    ditches, chariot ruts and all...
    in the middle of a dense wood and slightly off the footpath.

    There was a hand-painted and faded interpretive sign in French...
    much like the old local pre-histo one at La Sells Gurnards...
    right next to the road itself...
    if I hadn't needed a comfort stop, we'd never have spotted it.
    It was obvious that someone kept it free of tree and other seedlings...
    but I wonder how many other people had actually seen it since the sign went up.
    Perhaps there was a sign from the footpath at one time that had long rotted...
    shame really...
    but one of the highlights of a very wet and miserable walking holiday...
    it made the Sologne, Brenne and Touraine du Sud look really wonderful once we arrived for our second "working" holiday, in the sun, at La Chapelle Blanche!!

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  2. Mental note... mustn't click on those links!!
    Musn't...
    damn...
    did!!!

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  3. And how many milia passus can you do in a day? The legions couldn't half shift down those roads!

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  4. Tim: Haha! You're doomed :-)

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