Jonathan Worthington :: jnthn.net

Nice And Les Gorges du Verdon

After a conference in Nice in January of 2007, I had some time to look around Nice itself. Even better, three of us from the conference got together, hired a car and the one of us who could drive took us up to Les Gorges du Verdon, the second biggest canyon in the world.

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Nice

Nice actually turned out to be a much nicer town than the beach holiday tourist trap I was expecting. The castle on the hill allows you to get wonderful views over the city and there is at least one really nice park (and probably many more that I didn't see). At the time I went, they were deep in construction of a new tram system, so some places are a mess because of this. I expect it will be nice when it's done, though.

The church I saw from my hotel balcony
The church I saw from my hotel balcony
Another view
Another view
Construction of the new tramway
Construction of the new tramway
A big statue by a nice park, with a ferris wheel in the background
A big statue by a nice park, with a ferris wheel in the background
The sea and beach
The sea and beach
Looking along the cost towards the castle
Looking along the cost towards the castle
Looking back away from the castle
Looking back away from the castle
Nice colourful buildings set in front of rugged rocks
Nice colourful buildings set in front of rugged rocks
Looking at the bay after the castle
Looking at the bay after the castle
A view over the city from the castle
A view over the city from the castle
Weird stone hut thing by the castle
Weird stone hut thing by the castle
Yeah, I like my satelite dishes!
Yeah, I like my satelite dishes!
The city
The city
The sun shines through the trees
The sun shines through the trees
Tall and (I think) shaped trees
Tall and (I think) shaped trees
A nice waterfall
A nice waterfall
A bigger waterfall
A bigger waterfall
The city as the evening starts to draw on
The city as the evening starts to draw on
A similar shot
A similar shot
The park again
The park again
The ferris wheel by night
The ferris wheel by night
A rush hour traffic jam as the sun starts to set
A rush hour traffic jam as the sun starts to set
The beautiful sunset
The beautiful sunset
The sunset colours the sea
The sunset colours the sea
Looking out to sea
Looking out to sea
Another shot of the sunset as the orange becomes even more firey
Another shot of the sunset as the orange becomes even more firey
Along the sea front
Along the sea front

On The Way To The Gorges

The journey there was somewhat interesting. On the way up to the mountains, we passed through a fairly thick layer of could until we were above it, which we feared would spoil the view. Happily, there was nothing to be seen of it over the gorge itself.

Looking down on the cloud
Looking down on the cloud
More cloud
More cloud
Hills cast shadows
Hills cast shadows
Taken as we drove along
Taken as we drove along
Really craggy rocks
Really craggy rocks
Passing by a small village
Passing by a small village
The chapel on the hill at Castellane
The chapel on the hill at Castellane
Castellane Church
Castellane Church
Both of Castellane's churches
Both of Castellane's churches
Looking through an archway
Looking through an archway
Castellane's picturesque town center
Castellane's picturesque town center
The beautiful river running by Castellane
The beautiful river running by Castellane
Same again, but portrait
Same again, but portrait
A different angle on it
A different angle on it
A bridge over the river
A bridge over the river
Looking the other way down the river
Looking the other way down the river

Les Gorges du Verdon

The gorge carved out by the Verdon river constitutes the second biggest canyon in the world, after the grand canyon. Like the grand canyon, it's a pretty incredible sight and hard to capture the scale of. We drove all along the north rim, down into the canyon, over a bridge at the end of it as the river feeds into the lake, then back up and along the south rim.

Our first stopping point on the north rim, a little way from where the gorge starts
Our first stopping point on the north rim, a little way from where the gorge starts
Plants growing by the river
Plants growing by the river
Twisting and turning
Twisting and turning
Looking down the river one way...
Looking down the river one way...
...and the other.
...and the other.
A similar shot
A similar shot
Beautiful reflections
Beautiful reflections
A bridge over the river
A bridge over the river
Me by the river
Me by the river
Another one of me
Another one of me
A final glimpse of this beautiful area from another angle
A final glimpse of this beautiful area from another angle
Our second stopping point, in view of the start of the gorge
Our second stopping point, in view of the start of the gorge
Rugged rocky scenery
Rugged rocky scenery
Looking an the start of the gorge
Looking an the start of the gorge
Another view into the gorge
Another view into the gorge
The same place, from another angle
The same place, from another angle
More nice plants and rock formations
More nice plants and rock formations
Our third stopping point, along the gorge itself!
Our third stopping point, along the gorge itself!
The walls fall pretty steeply
The walls fall pretty steeply
The rockface is pretty rough
The rockface is pretty rough
The same with nearby plants, to give you an idea of the scale
The same with nearby plants, to give you an idea of the scale
Looking along the gorge again...
Looking along the gorge again...
...and down into it.
...and down into it.
The last shot from this point.
The last shot from this point.
Our fourth stopping point on the north rim, and the highest
Our fourth stopping point on the north rim, and the highest
From the viewing platform
From the viewing platform
The near-vertical rock face down into the gorge
The near-vertical rock face down into the gorge
The hills behind the rock face
The hills behind the rock face
After some scrambling, taken from the very edge of the rock face
After some scrambling, taken from the very edge of the rock face
Another shot from on the edge
Another shot from on the edge
The rocks I was scrambling over...
The rocks I was scrambling over...
...and distant hills behind them.
...and distant hills behind them.
Another shot of the river from the edge, but further along
Another shot of the river from the edge, but further along
Looking back down into the valley
Looking back down into the valley
A similar shot
A similar shot
Me sat on the edge of the canyon...
Me sat on the edge of the canyon...
...which is a long way down...
...which is a long way down...
...a very long way down!
...a very long way down!
Looking back on the road we travelled along the north rim
Looking back on the road we travelled along the north rim
A similar shot, captuing the full height of the rocks to the left
A similar shot, captuing the full height of the rocks to the left
The lakes at the end of the gorge
The lakes at the end of the gorge
The bridge at the bottom is the one we were to cross later
The bridge at the bottom is the one we were to cross later
Looking back down the gorge
Looking back down the gorge
A similar picture
A similar picture
The lakes
The lakes
Final shot of the gorge from the north rim
Final shot of the gorge from the north rim
And a last glimpse of the lake before we headed down towards it
And a last glimpse of the lake before we headed down towards it
We stopped down by the lake just before the bridge
We stopped down by the lake just before the bridge
Looking out over the lake
Looking out over the lake
The bridge again - notice the colour of the water!
The bridge again - notice the colour of the water!
From the lake shores
From the lake shores
Up on the south rim
Up on the south rim
Looking further to the right
Looking further to the right
The shadowy gorge
The shadowy gorge
More rugged rocks...
More rugged rocks...
...making a very tall gorge wall!
...making a very tall gorge wall!
Beautiful
Beautiful
The river running through the gorge
The river running through the gorge
Looking through a rock formation
Looking through a rock formation
The last glimpse of the rocks...
The last glimpse of the rocks...
...and of the river.
...and of the river.

The Return Journey

Strangely, the cloud we'd seen on the way up the mountain was still hanging in the same valley on the way back. I managed to get a few shots from the car of the sunset - I wish I'd had time to stop and take something a bit better, but we wanted to be off the mountain raods before night fell.

Hills poke out of the thick cloud
Hills poke out of the thick cloud
Sunset over a hill
Sunset over a hill
Cloud between hills
Cloud between hills
Another hill just poking above the cloud
Another hill just poking above the cloud
You call it blurred. I call it abstract art. ;-)
You call it blurred. I call it abstract art. ;-)

Thanks!

I am very thankful to Peter from the Computing Laboratory in Cambridge for telling me about the gorges, which I never knew existed, and inviting me on the trip. However, neither of us could have got there if Per, from a university in Sweden, hadn't been willing to join us and do the driving. Thanks, guys! Also thanks to the many friendly people who made my trip to Nice and my time at the POPL conference an interesting and fun one!


All content Copyright (C) Jonathan Worthington 2003-2006 unless otherwise stated.