The Grand Canyon of France

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I shared a rental car with 2 other artists’ in residence and went to the Gorges de Verdun, which is called the Grand Canyon of France. It is spectacular, but not as deep or wide as our own, with very quaint villages along the way. From Vallauris I went through the town of Grasse which is famous for it’s perfumes and made it to Castallane at one end of the gorge. The town is on the river and has this huge promentory beside it with a church at the top. There is a walking route to the top which takes about 45 min. with good hiking shoes, and more time if you drive. Didn’t go up…shoes no good for that.

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From Castellane the road loops around the gorge with hairpin turns, blind corners, and single car lanes in places, shared with bicyclists and Euro motorhomes (thank goodness smaller than our own).

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There are some turnoffs to stop and take pictures and there are places along the way to eat, to camp and a couple of tiny villages sprinkled here and there until you get to Moustier St. Marie. Moustier St. Marie is a beautiful small town,

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out in the middle of nowhere, and famous for it’s style of pottery that is centuries old. We visited some galleries and shops, had lunch and got on the road back, but not without incident. Coming into town I accidently backed the car into a rock wall and damaged the rear bumper. I’m actually happy it wasn’t worse given the roads I was driving!

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Oh well… The route around the other side of the gorge was higher and even more spectacular with fewer places to stop and get out. We went past a large turquoise colored lake and a small village with a castle, but we were now on a mission to get back before dark and didn’t stop. After getting lost in Cannes we finally made it back to Vallauris and agreed that it was worth the trip.

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And lastly a dinner at the Cafe du Coin, outside our residence house, to cap off an almost perfect day.

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