Photographer's Note

The steam train of the Cévennes in southern France runs between Anduze and St Jean-du-Gard, allowing the traveller to enjoy beautiful sites during the journey.
Amongst these is "La Bambouseraie", a 15ha bamboo plantation unique in Europe, which was planted by Eugène Mazel in 1856, a trader in spices who was also a passionate of botany.
However, to realise that, he had to undertake enormous works like the diversion of several subsidiaries of the river Gardon, an enterprise which eventually ruined him, so he had to give up his park to the bank "Crédit Foncier". I presume this diversion of rivers is not very good from an ecological point of view either!
The trees on my photo are still young, but in most of the park, you feel as if you were in a south-east Asian jungle.
This view probably doesn't exist any longer, 16 years later, as the train must be hidden by the grown trees. (1 metre a day in some cases!)
The train drops you there to enjoy the visit of the plantation and then picks you up again to finish the ride to St Jean-du-gard and back to Anduze.

The railway was originally used from 1881 while the silk industry was thriving in the region. The opening of the line was a real challenge in this mountainous region, and it required the building of several engineering masterpieces, like a metal-bridge, 4 tunnels and 5 stone viaducts.
The line managed to run until 1971, when it had to close for economic reasons.
However, the train was back on track by 1982 thanks to a voluntary association. The community of communes around, are now running it for the greatest pleasure of tourists.

This is a scan of a picture dating back to 1993, hence the medium quality. I had added it in WS of my previous post, and Joël (jlbrthnn) made me realise the exotic atmosphere of the place; so, I decided to republish it as a main post. I hope you will enjoy it!

PS. You will find more about this "Bambouseraie" in the other 2 pictures of Générargues gallery published by ClaudeD or in Anduze gallery and also in wikipedia of course.

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Additional Photos by MarieLouise Davies (maloutim) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2269 W: 353 N: 4068] (13617)
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