While seeking the early signs of autumn in the Corbieres region -in vain-, I have discovered a very special historic site. We are in the midst of autumn and my desire was to feature spreads of orange and red leaves. But this year, the weather having just not been co-operating, apart from the vineyards stripped from their grapes, the Corbieres are still dressed in green.
However, this is what we (my dog first!) have discovered:
…was the first Roman road built in Gaul, to link Italy and Hispania across what is now southern France. The route that the Romans regularised and paved was ancient when they set out to survey it, so old that it traces the mythic route travelled by Heracles. Hannibal traversed it on his way from Hispania to Italy. It was constructed in 118 BC by Domitius Ahenobarbus, at the same time the first Roman colony -Narbonne- was founded in Gaul.
Unlike the Narbonne monument which showcases, right across the Narbonne town hall, a short stretch of that same Via Domitia, its intriguing world can only be felt in such a wild and natural environment. I am fascinated by the resonance of neglected Heritage. One gets the peculiar feeling of inhabiting both past and present. This is not about nostalgia, but one just wonders how these sites have traversed time. One feels the link with the past, the link with the unknowable people who traveled on Via Domitia.
And the historic encounter became an emotional experience!