Our Tour of Alpes Haute Provence – Continues
Posted on June 23, 2014
Gorge Du Verdon
The Gorge du Verdon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of Europe”, lies in the mountains of southeastern France.The canyon runs for 20km (13mi) between the towns of Castellane to the east and Moustiers-Ste-Marie to the west. Cliffs more than 700m (2,300ft) in height rise on each side of the turbulent waters of the Verdon River. Bare stone walls flank the river at the water’s edge, where the gorge narrows to as little as 6m (20ft).
The green translucence of the river originates at Mount Pelat, the river’s source. A combination of direct pressure and below-freezing temperatures causes the snowfields and glaciers of the Alpes Maritimes to erode the underlying rock. The resulting pulverized rock is washed into the Verdon where it is held in suspension as fine particles. The physical interplay between the sun’s rays and the fine particles conspires to reflect only the green-blue part of the visible spectrum.
Famous all over the world for its faience earthenware, the village of Moustiers-Saint-Marie is one of France’s “Most Beautiful Villages”. Typically Provençal and looking rather like a nativity scene with the big gold star hanging above it, the village is full of charm with narrow streets and little squares to wander through, refreshing fountains, faience workshops and boutiques, and smartly-fronted houses dominated by the imposing Lombard Romanesque bell tower of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption church.
After we left Moustiers-Saint-Marie we drove straight into this hale stone storm that lasted for 20 mins. We could not believe it after having blue sky’s only 30 mins previously.
Wild camping in Clamensane, breakfast, “al fresco” on our way back to La Motte du Caire.