Friday, June 06, 2008

Gourdon and waterfall

Gourdon is a mediaeval perched village [vilage perché] - built on a 760 metre high spur of rock as a defensive measure. The is nicknamed the Eagle's Nest, Le nid d'Aigle .

Gourdon is considered one of the 149 prettiest villages in France - unfortunately I visited on a stormy day so the photos of the village look more like Frankenstein's castle ...

or maybe Dracula's lair.

Normally, the pale honey stone is lit up by the sun and the buildings seem to glow -but on Wednesday the sun only appeared in brief spells before it hid again.

This is the postoffice - probably one of the most attractive post offices I've ever seen.

This is an old sweetshop with lots of lollies and traditional candied fruits on sale. There is a faded painted sign on the side wall advertising local honey.

One of the busy cafes. I liked the blue stripey parasols which echoed the pale blue sky and blue shutters.

The fountain dates to 1852. The building with the arches is the communal wash house [lavoir] , where people used to wash clothes in the days before washing machines and indoor plumbing.

This is a famous restaurant on the edge of the cliff named the Eagle's Nest, Le nid d'Aigle after the village's nickname. The terrace must have an amazing view down the valley on a good day.

Gourdon from the other side looked less imposing without the black clouds but the sky soon darkened again.
The angry sky above Gourdon village - we were having a picnic and managed to finish before the thunder, lightning and torrential rain started.

The Gorges du Loup is a massive canyon that starts beneath the village of Gourdon -the Loup [Wolf] River cuts through the 700 metre high cliffs and the road follows a little bit higher up the side of the canyon.

There are several spectacular waterfalls though most aren't easily visible from the road. You can visit the procession of waterfalls at the Saut du Loup [the Wolf Leap] between July and the end of October.

The Cascade de Courmes is one of the waterfalls in the Gorges du Loup that can be easily spotted -though its in an awkward place as far as photography is concerned.

It seems to appear at the side of the road just after going through a road tunnel cut through the rock.

The Cascade de Courmes waterfall has a 130ft/40metre drop from the top of the cliff -apparently its hard to get a photo of the falls falling straight as there is normally a wind blowing the water around.

The first photo was taken from the car window but I thought I'd get a better one by walking back from the nearest lay-by.
Unfortunately, almost as soon as I left the car, the heavens opened. Within seconds I was soaked to the skin - but I thought I might as well try and take the photo anyway. The rain was so heavy, I might as well have been in the waterfall -the camera lens was running with rainwater and the photo didn't show much more of the falls.

The rain got too heavy to see properly and I was concerned about being run over by passing cars so I didn't cross over the road to take shots of the pools and smaller drops to the gorge below.

Ah well, at least I tried.

1 comment:

Magpie Magic said...

Cool pictures, very atmospheric, especially the first couple and the ones of the waterfall.