The weather has been pretty atrocious the past couple of days, we left Nice in the pouring rain and after topping up with provisions we headed for the town of Grasse, famous for its perfume industry.
We were unable to get parked at or close to our chosen perfumerie to visit, Fragonard, that is in the town and were directed to a Fragonard outlet just outside where you could also get a tour and buy their products.
The tour that was taking place at the time of our arrival was in French so we walked through the outlet on our own and into the shop, where I made a couple of gift purchases.
We then drove back up to the town and through the old town, that looked a delight to explore and will save for another time as it was still raining. We headed for the Aire in Castellane taking the D6085 (Napolean Route) which is extremely scenic and would have been even better had we not been driving in the rain and through the clouds.
We stayed overnight in the lovely Aire in Castellane that is located alongside the river, very close to the town and beneath the huge rock on which is perched the Chapelle Notre Dame du Roc.
In the morning we walked into the town where the local market was being held. We stopped at a cheese stall and were persuaded to taste some that was indeed very good. The market seller also tried to sell us some ‘sheep’ cheese and Tony thought she said ‘cheap’ cheese and in the end we bought the first cheese we had tasted that wasn’t ‘sheep’ or ‘cheap’ at €23 for the half a kilo wedge that we purchased!
We then walked up to Chapelle Notre Dame du Roc following the ‘rampart route’ a well created stoney path a bit loose in places but was a lot easier than we anticipated because the chapel looked so high perched on top of the rock. Sturdy shoes recommended and not the canvas plimsoles type that I was wearing! The views from the top are stunning and worth the effort of the walk up and down again.
As the weather prediction for tomorrow is better and we want to visit the Gorges du Verdon we have decided to stay another night at the Aire in Castellane. After lunch we took a drive out to Lac de Castillon just north of Castellane on the D955 stopping off at the dam and hydro station before joining the N202 continuing as far as St-Andre-des-Alpes. The lake is a beautiful turquoise with plenty of pull-offs alongside. The rain was even heavier for the return journey.
Parking close to the old town of Grasse for large vehicles looked difficult but at the time of our visit it was raining very hard and wanted to be as close to the old town as possible.
There is easy parking for large vehicles at the Fragonard outlet on the road to Cannes and there are plenty of signs directing you there.
The Aire at Castellane is €6.50 for 24 hours, maximum stay of 48 hours payable with coins on entering the car park that then raises the height barrier. There is a change machine on the right hand side of the entrance if you do not have coins.