Our first order of business today was to drive over to the nearby Lac de Ste-Croix, a portion of the river Verdon which was dammed up to create the reservoir which generates the power supply for much of Provence. The high fluorine content gives the lake its inviting greenish color. We rented paddleboats at the lake, and paddled our way from the lake, under the bridge that separates the lake from the river, and then into the river Verdon, guided by the rocky cliffs of the Gorge du Verdon at our sides. We never saw any power boats on the lake or the river, only canoes, kayaks, and manually-powered paddleboats like ours. We didn’t see any good spots to get off the boat and pique-nique on land, but people were swimming nearby and pique-niquing on their boats.
Jumpers at Lac de Ste-Croix
It was also fun watching people jump into the water from the bridge when we were returning to the lake. You have to look closely to see the two bodies in mid-air on the right-hand side of the bridge.
On our way back home, we took the southern route (D71) along the Gorge du Verdon, which was more scenic than the northern route we took on our way to Moustiers. We stopped at Aiguines for an alfresco lunch in the main square. Aiguines is a picturesque village overlooked by a 17th-century chateau with a colorful tiled roof, and a nice area from which you can get great views of Lac de Ste-Croix.
Gorge du Verdon from Balcons de Mescla
There were lots of places to stop for taking in the scenery along our route on La Corniche Sublime (D71). The Balcons de la Mescla was one such place, with stunning views of the Gorge.
Pont de l’Artuby
It was also from the Balcons de la Mescla where we got a great view of le Pont de l’Artuby. As we walked across the 182-meter-high bridge, we noticed some enterprising sales people offering << saut à l’élastique >> (bungee jumping). Strangely enough, we didn’t see any takers.
The Village of Trigance
Another stop, this time at the small fortified village of Trigance with its stone houses and its 11th-century fortress perched on a rock overhead.
Sunday Market at St-Vallier-de-Thiey
The last stop of the day before getting back to Antibes was much closer to home at St-Vallier-de-Thiey, where we happened across a colorful Sunday Market, just in time to pick up some essential items for tonight’s aperitif. Olives are always the perfect accompaniment to Pastis.