If there is any experience you should try in Provence, it’s this one, Les Féeries du Pont. You’ll never forget it. [ Be sure to see the videos at the end of the post].
Pont du Gard: Féeries du Pont
I’ve always had a “thing” for fireworks but when they are combined with a sound and light show, in France, at the Pont du Gard aqueduct, how could I resist? It’s so much fun kayaking down the river Gardon and paddling underneath the aqueduct and to see this monument at night? Bien sûr!
When I heard about Les Féeries du Pont I ordered my ticket (25 Euros) before heading to France in late May. This unique annual event took place on two consecutive weekends: June 2 and 3 and June 9 and 10. On the official website the Féeries du Pont is described as having: “video-mapping projections, flame generators, light compositions, theatre of light, pyrotechnics and original music.” The event was created by Groupe F, deemed “the world’s best pyro-technicians”.
The 2017 Theme
The 2017 show’s theme was “Feux Romains” (Roman Fires), in keeping with the history of the Pont du Gard, which was built by the Romans in the first century AD. It was the highest elevated Roman aqueduct that was used to deliver almost 9 million gallons of water each day to the town of Nimes, located 23 kilometres away. What an imposing sight and it is one of the best preserved monuments that is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
When I arrived at 8:00 pm, there were already many cars parked even though the event was scheduled to start at 10:30 pm. There was a restaurant open (with an expensive fixed-price menu) and a number of food trucks. That made my day as I had not packed a picnic. While there were picnic tables set up along the side of the river, many spectators positioned themselves on the hillside that overlooks the Pont. They were all set for the show!
In addition to a beverage truck (selling wine and beer) there were some interesting food trucks selling burgers, Mexican food, French tapas, and crêpes. I opted for the French tapas which had a selection of cheese, charcuterie, mini hor d’oeuves, and breads. It was small but fine. I should have gone for the burger and fries. Not traditional French fare, but they certainly looked good.
Viewing The Féeries du Pont
After my meal, I joined the crowd on the grassy hillside facing the Pont du Gard. As we waited for the show to start, a band played cheesy music by the river and the technicians tested out the different effects, such as lighting up the Pont and surrounding area.
I have been to a sound and light show before, at Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley. There were images projected onto the chateau and the music was accompanied by French commentary. To be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed, but this show….WOW!
While it was too difficult for me to understand all of the French commentary, the images gave me enough of an idea of the storyline (history of the Pont) and the music and light show combined with the fireworks made this event spectacular. There were also actors dressed in reflective costumes riding horses. To see them far away in the distance was just as impressive as seeing them up close.
It is difficult showing you photos of the images as it was so dark for my camera; however, as pictures (and videos) sometime speak louder than words, here are some of the evening’s highlights [be sure to turn on the sound….it’s worth it]: