French Riviera - Part 11

This day of my trip, our plan was to look at the 'European Grand Canyon' (Verdon Du Gorges), which is around 50 kms from Draguignan. Infact, its just called 'Verdon Du Gorges'. The name 'European Grand Canyon' comes from the fact that its a deep gorge, similar to the 'Grand Canyon' in the USA.

'Verdon Du Gorges' is a river canyon, formed by the river 'Verdon', which is named after its startling turquoise-green colour. This is considered to be one of the canyon's typical characteristics. It is also the world's second largest gorge (being 25 kms in length and 300 mts deep). Being close to many of the famous parts of 'French Riviera', this is very popular with tourists (Note: Without a car/bike or any other vehice, you cant get around these places. Infact, you cant get around many of the interior parts in Provence, withour your own vehicle or a rental car). This canyon also offers a lot of things-to-do for adventure freaks (like rock climbing, kayaing, hiking and other things) or any other people, who just want to relax around many villages surrounding this canyon.

After we set off from Draguignan, we passed by a couple of villages (which look very laidback and relaxing - where I just felt like just staying around and do nothing). It was very, very windy that day, that at some points, you could feel that you could be uprooted by the wind. Even our driving was affected at some open places or at an altitude. So, we were a bit concerned already, as to how we could drive along the rim of the canyon, where the roads are pretty narrow and one side of the road, its deep enough for us, to kick the bucket. *lol*

After we drove for a couple of minutes, we stopped at this village called 'Aups', filled up the gas/fuel for the car and went to a small super-market, to get something for our breakfast. Here are some pics (from all the driving around and Aups):

After that, we headed towards 'Verdon Du Gorges'. We also knew that there's a lake at the tip of this canyon (if you come from the direction of Draguignan). So, we thought of stopping first at this place, if it is something special. This lake is called 'Lac De Sainte Croix' and was indeed a village (Les Salles Sur Verdon), which was sacrificed for the production of electricity and disappeared under the waters, that came outta canyon.

I was awestruck by the clarity and colour of the water..and also its surroundings. There weren't many people around (only a few campers and bikers) and the sun was still shining, although it was a bit overcast. So, we thought of swimming or gettin a dip in the water. There were a couple of bikers, of which, some of them came all the way from Berlin/Cologne (So, they are from Germany too. Indeed we saw many German bikers and campers. *grin*). Here are some pics, that I shot before reaching the lake:

And here's a video that I shot, at the lake:

And here are some pics:

After staying around that lake for a while, we set off to look at the Canyon. The weather was getting worse, as it was very windy already and started raining now. But anyways, it added up to the excitement as we thought we are doing an adventure *haha*. First we stopped at the base (outlet) of the canyon, where there was a bridge connecting the land divided by the gorge. Here's a video:

And here are some pics:

It was very windy and so, it was a bit risky to be on that bridge. So, as we thought of gettin back into the car, a couple of Italians/Belgian guys came asking for directions and told that they want to get out of this place ASAP. This made us more concerned and scary, at the thought of driving around the canyon (which is otherwise normal, when the weather is good). Anyways, we told the directions and set off to drive along the rim of the canyon. In the beginning (for an hour or so), the weather was worse to drive around, as it was shakin' up the car too. But later, it got better and we had no probs driving around. Here are some pics, that I shot when drove up to the rim and then, along the rim of the canyon:

We drove pretty slow along the rim of the canyon (alternatively driving and stopping) and looked at the beau landscape and nature, all along. Also because of oncoming traffic and weather conditions. Later, as the weather got getter, we had no problems and really enjoyed the trip. After driving around for an hour or so, we were at the midway, along the rim of the canyon and stopped by a good restaurant, which sat on the edge of a cliff and offered great views of the canyon (There weren't many houses/people around,only the restaurant and a hotel attached to it). We hung around the restaurant for a while and then drove through all along the rim of the Canyon. Here's a video that I shot, at that restaurant:

And here are some pics that I shot at the restaurant and the next part of the canyon:

Later, we approached this bridge (which was almost the end of the canyon), stopped by ,to look around and then headed back to our next destination (St. Tropez). All I can say about this canyon trip, is that I enjoyed it thoroughly and saw some great things..and also felt the pleasant and serenne surroundings. Here are some more pics, from around the bridge and later part of our trip:

Later, as we headed back to Draguignan and then to St. Tropez, we were made to stop, by some police-men, as there was a herd of sheep (guarded by shepherd dogs and some local people) heading down from some location and they occupied all of the road. I guess, its because there was no other way on that mountainous/hilly landscape, for the people to lead the sheep to a vet hospital (for a check-up or some other thing). Here's a video that I shot:

And here are some pics:

That's it for this part of the trip. 'Bon jour' and 'Au Revoir'..! :-)

For more pics, check the slide-show below:


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