After finishing my one month summer french course in Nice, I went on a road trip through the South of France. This was already 5 years ago. Time flies, and my french isn’t getting any better!
We spent some days along the coast side before breaking into the french countryside. It was going to be my first time in the deep Provence. Fields of lavender and villages made of stones – that’s all I could think of.
Yes, I was uneducated and naïve.
The Gorge du Verdon is known as the Grand Canyon of Europe. It runs for around 25 km, between Castellane and Moustiers-Ste-Marie and goes down to over 700 meters depth. There are plenty of viewpoints along the road but the best views can be found when standing on one edge of the gorge. One of the main ones is Les Balcons de la Mescla, on the southern wall. This natural balcony overlooks the point in which the Verdon and Artuby rivers meet.
I never expected such a landscape in Provence.
When staring down hundreds of meters, I was fascinated by the color of the water carried by the Verdon river. From the top, it shines in an inviting deep turquoise-green!
At the western edge Gorge du Verdon, the river flows into lake of Sainte-Croix. From there, we rented a canoe to paddle into the gorge. Once you get to see the river closer, you’ll realize that the water has a somewhat milky appearance. This immediately made me alert: I couldn’t really see what was swimming next to me!
I sat there, in the canoe with the sun shining in my face, watching other people jump into the water and weighting the pros and cons of taking the risk. After a couple of minutes, I putt aside my fears of being trapped by seaweed or bitten by one of those deep sea creatures (river version), and took a plunge into the milky turquoise river!
The fresh water was perfect to cool down from the hot temperature. And once inside, I completely forgot about deep river creatures and seaweed, and enjoyed the afternoon.