Another fun fact (apparently that's my favorite way to start blog posts): Vienne is the French name for Vienna! So again, this is about Vienna France, not Austria (yet...Max and I are going in August!).
|Up on the hill are the ruins of an old fortress over looking the city.|
|Really cute street in Vienne.|
The first thing we did was go to the weekly marché to look around and to buy food for our picnic lunch. And let me tell you, this market was huge. There was pretty much everything you could think of, clothes, bags, kitchen appliances, shoes, flowers....and then, the food: dozens (maybe over 100) types of cheeses, strawberries and cherries for days, as well as bananas, oranges, peaches, apricots, limes, lemons (all fresh), veggies (again, anything you can think of: asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, radishes, brussel sprouts, green beans, corn, etc), meats (fish/chicken/beef/pork/more) and anything else you could possibly think of. It puts American farmers' markets to shame.
|Some of the picnic food.|
photo credit: Holly
|Our whole study abroad group! Love these people so much.|
|Roman soldier reenactment.|
Seeing all the Roman stuff everywhere made me miss Italy so much - it was kind of strange to think that the Romans were also in France way back when, I tend to forget how much of the world they controlled. The entire outdoors area behind the museum was once the wealthy part of the Roman town, and all the roads and foundations are still there, though no original structure walls remain. I wish I knew everything those roads have seen over 2000 years. It still blows me away every time to think about how long ago those roads were forged. They were once smooth and even, though today they are not remotely that way.
What really blows me away is just how advanced the Romans were. They had underground sewage systems with pipes and everything; bath houses with both cold and hot water (in the wealthy parts anyway); they built dehumidifiers; they built buildings that today's engineers say weren't possible with their level of tool technology. Yes we have electricity, and the 21st century has definitely brought about the fastest progression of technology the world has ever seen, but those Romans, man, they were so far ahead of their time. I don't think I'll ever stop being impressed.
|Small section of a wall of a house.|
|HUGE courtyard garden of the |
biggest house in the neighborhood
|I'm gonna call this game|
"Throw the Penny in the Jug"
|Roman weaving tools|
After wandering through the museum itself (basically a lot of tile floors that have been preserved just as they were when they were found; not boring, but not very versatile) we hiked back through town (Vienne is much hilly-er than Grenoble, that's for sure) to see the Roman amphitheater, which is still in use for concerts and plays today! There is a huge jazz festival every summer in Vienne held at the amphitheater, and they were already setting up for that. The contrast of the ancient seats and the modern speakers was really cool - such a commentary on the town and its history. We also got to see a beautiful cathedral, St. Maurice's, as well as a still-standing Roman building that was originally a temple, but over the centuries has been used for everything from a church to a library. It stands empty now, though, I'm assuming because its 2000 years old and they don't want to break it (or something like that). It started to rain just as we were leaving the amphitheater, so we ran to a cafe to get crêpes before getting on the train to head back home. It was a lovely day full of history and culture, definitely a good way to spend a Saturday. :]
|Temple turned church turned court turned library |
turned museum turned empty.
|In front of St. Maurice's Cathedral|