The Verdon and Provence Round 1

I’m back from the Verdon and Provence! It was awesome! I don’t quite know what else to say about it! So here are some pictures:

I made the annoying train trek down to Aix (changing stations in Paris, ten-minute connection in Lyon) to meet up with Frère and Belle-sœur at the Aix TGV station. We had to immediately leave (my train was 15 minutes late) to catch a taxi to the gare routière in central Aix. Our taxi driver got us there with plenty of time to buy our tickets, but the man at the ticket counter told us he couldn’t accept bank cards. We still don’t know why. There was a machine on the counter for bank cards. So I ran to the nearest post office to get cash, and we ended up getting on the bus with one or two minutes to spare. We took the bus to Riez in the Verdon where Julien picked us up and drove us to La Palud where he was camping with friends and we had booked a little hotel.

The drive on the way was quite scenic:

The Lac Sainte Croix

Frère and Belle-sœur against the canyon

Frère was willing to try rock-climbing that first evening, and I was quite impressed. I told J I was sure I would panic on the rockwall since in the Verdon, you rappel down and then climb back up, with a drop of 1000 feet below you.

Frere climbing

The next day we set off on the Sentier Martel, a hike through the canyon that takes 6-8 hours (we did it under 6).

Frere and belle-sœur toward the beginning of the hike

Belle-sœur and I were wearing garbage bags because it kept threatening to rain.

Here is what we walked up and down several times.

The walk isn’t too hard except for several spots where you’re walking more on your hands and knees, and one spot with a metal staircase/ladder.

At one point, at the bottom, we decided to stop and eat lunch. It started to rain and we had to hide under the trees.

At the bottom of the canyon, just before it started pouring rain

From closer to the top

We left J in the Verdon and went on to Aix-en-Provence. We spent the first evening wandering around getting our bearings in the city.

The portrait of Cezanne

The next day we rented a car and went into the Lubéron. My favorite stop was Roussillon, which is one of the biggest sites for ocre dye, because it’s built on (and of) all this red rock.

Doorway in Roussillon

Building in Roussillon

The church

In Roussillon you can pay a few euros to do the Sentier des Ocres, a 45-minute walk. This was my favorite part of the day.

The Sentier des Ochres

A little path through the woods in the Sentier des Ochres

A rock formation in the Sentier des Ochres

We ended the day in Fontaine de Vaucluse.

The gouffre by the water source in Fontaine de Vaucluse

Monday morning, before I left to come back to Poitiers, we followed the Chemin de Cézanne, which was marked throughout the city with these little gold medallions.

The Chemin de Cezanne

It takes you past things like this.

I got back to Poitiers Monday night, gave oral exams all day yesterday, and now am back to stressing about the regular things: CAFEP and titre de séjour. The DIRECCTE for my department has walk-in hours tomorrow morning so, since I’ve e-mailed them and gotten no response yet, I’m going to go and see if they can tell me how to get a carte salariée with a contract from the Rectorat (which I would have if I pass the CAPES in July). In other admin news, all the private concours admissibles for the region will apparently go for interviews for the Accord Collégial next Friday, just under the wire since I leave the 20th to see my parents in the south.

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