lundi 9 novembre 2009

The Gorges were Gorgeous

NO, SLu, I will NOT put up pictures of my awful haircut, but I will make it up to you by posting pictures of our latest adventure in the Provençal countryside: public restroom hunting around the Gorges du Verdon, the French Grand Canyon.

Good friends came to visit us and Josh explained to them the fundamental paradox of French culture: we will pay a third of our salary in taxes so that everyone can have health care, because we believe in solidarity. But our bathrooms are for customers only.

Most of the other hikers were pretty comfortable using the "green room" as my mom calls it. This was not surprising, since the last time we went hiking (on cliffs over the Mediterranean), we saw a few people decide to cool off with a dip in the sea. . . au naturale. What they say about French beaches? It's all true.

But back to the Gorges--we had a great time driving around the perimeter, and crossing the canyon at one point on a bridge being used for... bungee jumping!

It was a long way down.No, we didn't try it. Instead, we drove into the little medieval village of Trigance... with a public restroom! Yay! Mission accomplished.
Trigance was crowned by the third (and final) castle of the day. The first we had passed somewhere around Allemagne-en-Provence (Germany in Provence--weird name for a town that looked exactly like every other Provençal town).
The second castle was in the town of Aiguines, on a hill overlooking the lake made by the river Verdon after it leaves the canyon.
Yup, that's a soccer field in front of the castle there. After all the driving around, we finally found a good jumping-off point for a hike: "Point Sublime"--the name was promising.
Turned out we were not actually at Point Sublime, but instead about 900 feet below it in the bottom of the canyon.
It was, however, a fortunate mistake. The bottom of the canyon was cool and shadowy and we got to see the rock features close-up.
It was a great way to spend a fall weekend!

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