Easter Escapades

Apr 8, 2012

Easter is usually a very nice time for exploring the great outdoors in southern France. This time we split our holidays between the Alps and Provence- a splendid mix between seeing the family and going out for little ventures.

We had couple of days in the Alps, which meant we were able to go on few hikes- first one to the Vallee des Fonds and Lac Noir. Spring’s always offering an interesting scenario as there’s still snow higher up, meanwhile down in the valleys it’s starting to blossom in places.

The second day we headed over to Col du Vallon, a beautiful isolated valley. We pumped only into one other hiker on the way up to the chapel; hiking between the seasons can be really fun if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. 
Note: A regular spring hike scenario pretty much includes walking on mud, snow, water and mix of all of them...

Few days later we drove down to Provence, the always sunny spot, where the nature is rather dry but yet very versatile. It’s probably the best known for its purple lavender fields or the bright yellow sunflower fields. We wanted to take a little road trip to one of the most scenic places in Europe- The Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon). It’s a river canyon that has massive limestone walls climbing up to 700 meters, and it runs about 25 kilometres. We drove up the rim, walked around, and the views were truly fantastic! Later on while driving along the canyon, the road offered not only amazing views down the cliff but few scary twists and turns, too (well, only if you’re scared on a road that has a 1km drop next to you and no fences).

On the way to Verdon, we stopped in a small village called Moustiers. The town lies up on a cliff and has limestone peaks rising just behind it. Beautiful landscapes opened up as we climbed a little pathway up to the church above the town.

The following day we had the Easter celebration at Denis’ grandma, where all the relatives gathered together. We had a lot of good food, drinks and laughs. The day after we took the advantage of the warm, sunny Provençal day, and did a few hours bush walk from Manosque to Volx through the hills.   

On our last whole day we drove to Colorado Provencal, which is located in Rustrel (near Park Naturel réginal du Luberon). It’s an extraordinary place of geologic formations in all shades of red and yellow. We went on a walk there that took us through the chimney formations, caves and bright orange desert. The thing that’s rather random about this place is that it just lies there in the middle of Provence and looks like nothing it’s surrounded by…

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