les calanques & verdon, france - flexing our muscles in the great French outdoors

Every now and then I can convince my fancy, dressed-to-the-nines, BMW-driving Italian to rough it in the great outdoors. We set aside a couple days during our trip to Marseille for just that purpose, and so, a few short weeks after having his full-leg cast removed, Alex found himself being dragged on an extremely technically difficult hike past a million warning signs to a lovely spot in Verdon called -- no joke -- 'Le Styx'.

Parc Naturel du Verdon, Marseille, France

Parc Naturel du Verdon, Marseille, France

Ahh, with such pristine natural beauty, how difficult can the hike possibly be? It's just a walk down... and up... a mountain.

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

So, it was pretty difficult.

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

But extremely rewarding!

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Amazingly clear ice blue water running through chalk-colored rocks among lush, vibrant greens. Truly spectacular.

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

We hiked for about 1.5-2 hours down, past a trillion 'danger' signs.

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France
Here is Alex approximately 15 minutes into the hike -- hence the grin.

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France
Grin likely vanished now.

Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Hiking Le Styx trail, Verdon, France
Definitely vanished.

Hiking Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Hiking Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Hiking Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Hiking Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

After a rough couple hours, we made it to the base of the mountain and the gushing river Styx.

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

And, as per usual, immediately jumped in.

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France


Of course, we came prepared with a picnic, to refuel. Meat, cheese, baguette, chocolate, and booze.

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

After a few more swims, we packed up and started our ascent back up the mountain.

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Swimming Le Styx, Verdon, France

Hiking Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Hiking Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

Hiking Le Styx trail, Verdon, France

We made it to the top. A million props to Alex for completing an exceptionally technically difficult -- and long -- hike just a few weeks after regaining the ability to walk. My man's got some grit.

Another day, another outdoors adventure: we decided to rent kayaks to explore Les Calanques. Our starting point was the very charming town of Cassis.

Cassis port, France

Cassis port, France

Cassis port, France

Cassis port, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

As two very strong-headed people, Alex and I expected a full day on a two-person kayak to be sprinkled liberally with in-fighting. Which happened. But we also had a lot of fun! And remained married at the end of the day, so it's all good.

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

The coast is lined with a bunch of coves, and within the coves are tiny little beaches. So you can rent a kayak and kayak in to each of the coves as we did, or you can hike from beach to beach (not an option for us, as we didn't want to test Alex's newly working foot too much).

Kayaking les Calanques, France

The beaches were... extremely, extremely crowded.

Kayaking les Calanques, France

No wonder. The water was spectacular.

Kayaking les Calanques, France

And the scenery was, naturally, astonishing.

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Kayaking les Calanques, France

Naturally, all that physical exercise required a lot of refueling. We found just the place: a restaurant serving plates of seafood pasta the size of a Jeep.


Just how I like my bowl of pasta: twice the size of a two-person pizza. France for the win.

Seafood pasta and rose, France

No comments:

Post a Comment