Wifi and internet fixed it seems, so I have been able to finish reviewing the pictures I took last week. The first few pictures are of Bordeaux trams, boring for some I know, but I did manage to get a couple of shots of two of the city’s most prominent landmarks from afar.
The bulk of the pictures are from my trip to the Gallo-Roman villa site at Plassac, about 30km north of Bordeaux.
Recently restored and re-opened to the public, the little museum and site offers a glimpse of how the other half lived during the Roman period in France. The villa dates from the 2nd century AD with the last known occupant being documented in 610AD. After that, the villa fell into disuse, was demolished and forgotten until recent times.
The site is on the right bank of the Gironde river, which was wider then than it is now. The area around Plassac was (and still is) an important wine producing area. No doubt some rich Roman set himself up there, to be followed by many others over a 400 year period.
A modern church stands beside the site. One of the more macabre discoveries during the excavations was an early Christian grave cut unknowingly into a mosaic floor. When they found it, the skeleton was still inside.
Mosaic at Plassac with grave
Although the site is basically only at ground level, the plan of the complex is well preserved as are the water pipes and channels, drains and the two underfloor central heating systems. Aquitaine can be quite cold and damp in winter and no doubt the owners liked and could afford a few home comforts. The remains of a large dining room with ‘picture window’ overlooking the river further attest to that.
The picture album is at https://1drv.ms/f/s!Am0w7qp9HCpqgqVq9RVVOgh6w-ytow
The site can be visited only with a guide. Tours are usually only in French but the staff are happy to answer questions in English. I understand that if pre booked as a group, the tours can be in English.
They show two short videos at the museum, prior to the tour. One shows how they glued the fragile mosaics to a giant carpet like material, rolled the whole lot up and took them away for restoration. A couple of years ago they were brought back and unrolled, where they can be seen today.
Access by car is easy. Head for the village of Plassac, the museum and site are next to the village church, the spire of which can be seen for miles. For those without cars, Transgironde bus number 201 stops at ‘La Poste’ – the village post office – which is 3 or 4 minutes walk. Those buses start from the Bordeaux Buttiniere tram stop in the suburbs, which is why I was there. Villa website with opening times and contact details is http://plassac.gironde.fr/pagesEditos.asp?IDPAGE=82