viaduc de millau, france

From Belcastel we drove to the Viaduc de Millau, which was slightly out of the way to our primary sight for the day, but I thought Danny would really like it (he's always seemed really into bridges, but it turns out it's more a thing with historic bridges than modern ones...now I know!).  We opted not to drive over the bridge as the toll to do so is rather hefty (I think around €12) and we generally skip toll roads as much as possible in Europe as they add up very quickly and the back roads are often much more scenic.  

I had read online about the Viaduc's visitor center, which sounds and looks to be very top-notch.  I'd read up on the hours, location, prices, and everything, and saw that it had just been made-over, and would be open beginning on April 1st (we were there April 8th) but after being directed to the alleged address by our GPS and just seeing a locked gate, we drove around the area and finally decided that perhaps the makeover still wasn't done.  I don't know what was up with the visitor's center when we were there, but we sadly were not able to check it out.  

We pulled off into a dirt parking lot for views of the bridge and I read Danny what little info my France guidebook had to offer.  The Viaduc de Millau is the tallest bridge in the world at 343 meters high (~1,125 feet), which means that it is 19 meters (~62 feet) higher than the Eiffel Tower.  After reading through some of the facts on the Viaduc's website (check them out here!) - like how deck of the bridge is wide enough for 17 people to stand with their arms outstretched - I was really impressed and wished that we had paid to drive across just to get a better feeling for its size and scale.  Its building really was a feat and it set (and still holds) a variety of world records.  

*Also I've said it before, and I know I'll say it again: I've seen photos of the Viaduc 10,000 times better than the ones we took floating around the internet.  Do yourself a favor and copy and paste the title of this post into Google images to see what it actually looks like.*

See more from our trip in France: our day in Toulouse here, and all of our stops on our first day: Cahors, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Bouzies, Rocamadour, Padirac CaveLoubressac, and Figeac.  We began our first day in Marcillac-Vallon and Belcastel.