Thursday, December 20, 2007

Grand Canyon Du Verdon

A flower beside the road on our canyon drive.

In southeastern France, the foothills of the Alps rise up to meet the taller mountains that form the borders with Switzerland and Italy. Many rivers flow out of the mountains through the foothills, one of which is called the Verdon.

The Verdon River winds through its canyon.
The north bank road is visible in this shot that looks downriver and west.


This river carved a fantastic canyon on its way to its confluence with the Durance, which in turn flows into the Rhône and on toward the Mediterranean. The canyon, according to the Michelin Guide, is about 21 kilometers long. Of course, the winding roads are much longer than that.

More canyon wildflowers.

There are roads that follow the river's path through the canyon, one on each bank. The southern bank's road was built high up over canyon on the Corniche Sublime in 1947 and is a great touring road for spectacular views of the blue water below.

The roads can be a bit scary, but it's a beautiful ride.

We drove up the canyon on this southern road, stopping for lunch just at the entrance to the canyon. We spent the day driving in and out before heading back home via the north bank road (at least I think that's what we did...).

The blue water of the Verdon.

The Verdon is dammed at the western end of the canyon forming a large reservoir. I'm sure that lake is a great recreational destination these days.

The foothills of the Alps come into view.

3 comments:

  1. I'm almost sure that the Verdon takes its name from the greenish color of its water. That is especially true in the reservoir behind the Castillon dam upstream from the canyon. The photos are beautiful, as usual.

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  2. Interesting trip, great photos! I always wonder about the workers who built those winding roads so high up. Really scary just to look down. The specific categories of your posts help a lot in deciding where to go. I'll visit Mont Saint Michel on Saturday. I've already seen some pictures in a book but to travel with a blogger's own photos and comments make the trip more real. Thank you!

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  3. chm, that never occurred to me, but it makes sense. I don't think we got up as far as Castillon. Maybe next time.

    claudia, enjoy the MSM!

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