Aigues Mortes is in the coastal region of southern France known as the Camargue, which sits between the Mediterranean on one side, and the two arms of the Rhone delta on the others. Much of the region is marshland and brine lagoon, which is apparently a great habitat for Greater Flamingo's, as there are hundreds of them in the region.
I wasn't expecting to see a wild Flamingo in Europe, and these aren't the only animals to look out for. The region is famous for its Black bulls (that are exported to Spain for fighting), and its white horse; the Camargue breed. There are wild families of both animals roaming to rocky hills around the towns.
However, it was the town of Aigues Mortes that I came to see.
The still well preserved walls are the first thing you see on approach, climbing out of the marshland around it like a solid impenetrable block. (It deserves that description, as the town was never taken by besieging forces).
I was expecting Aigues Mortes to be one of those sites that looks pristine from distance, but up close shows the signs of age; after all it was built sometime during or before the tenth century). But I was wrong, the walls and ramparts still look like they could repel a siege. (Although modern weaponry may have more of an effect than those of the eleventh through thirteenth centuries!)
Stepping through the gates and in to the town is like stepping back in time, the buildings retain original features, and the town square doesn't have appeared to have changed a great deal since it was first laid down. People still live in the town, which I find very strange, given the sheer number of tourists that pass through.
It must feel like you are on show constantly, as people are forever walking past; taking pictures, looking in windows. Still, the locals working in the tourist shops must make a lot of money; so there is an up side.
The town isn't that big, you can walk a lap in under 20 minutes; and for a small fee you can climb the walls and take a look over the ramparts. The views are okay, you can see a great distance because the terrain is so flat. Originally you would have been able to see out to see because the town was built on the coast; it's now a good way inland.
I'd suggest visiting the Camargue, if not for Aigues Mortes or Arles; then just to take in the scenery and the wildlife as you pass through. If I where to return it would be purely as I pass through, maybe taking an extended lunch break to explore one of the towns.
Though I would quickly be drawn to the east, and the CÃ´te d'Azur!