Day 4 of 20: The Whatever in the Wherever

16 Feb

I’m sufficiently well traveled to know that when a local takes me to see the largest / biggest / tallest whatever in the wherever, I’m for sure to be underwhelmed. The enthusiasm for the landmark is appreciated and I don’t mean any offence, but I’m from Canada and I’m pretty sure that if your country has it so do we – but only bigger, better, and in both official languages.

And this phenomenon isn’t just limited to the natural beauty of our natural nature (the Canadian Shield, coastline, icebergs, lakes, and mountains) it also extends to the engineered world (the Welland Canal – best waterway, CN Tower – best tower, Canadian Tire Centre – worst sports arena location).

We also maintain the top position in lots of other areas, but most important is our standings in the many categories found in the domain of population pacification / control (aka sports / entertainment). We have the largest professional sports trophy – the Stanley Cup (will keep growing in size for the foreseeable future). Rob Ford (also increasing in size) is number one in several categories including best, worst, biggest, blondest, and most hilarious city mayor.

And then there’s Justin Bieber – number one distraction. This kid is really bringing it. Keep up your antics my friend – timing your meltdown to coincide with the Olympics was pure genius. It has enabled our government to pass several draconian surveillance laws right in the middle of the NSA scandal and no one even noticed!

So I’m here in the south of France, relaxing in front of the TV after an exciting morning, when one of my co-conspirators informs me that we need to lay low for few hours to wait for things blow over. Elise suggests that we drive up to Cap Canaille the “largest cliffs in all Europe”.

“Sure, I’m game.” I say but what I’m thinking is “Large cliffs? I guess you guys haven’t been to Baffin Island or seen the opening sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me?” which is really strange because it was one of Roger Moore’s stronger Bond outings.

Anyway, so the four of us pile into the car and drive to this place called Cap Canaille. I was expecting a something like the Niagara Escarpment – nice but not that exciting. And man was I wrong – Cap Canaille is awesome!

And by awesome I mean terrifying.

The road to get there is narrow, winding, centre line-missing, and guardrail-deficient. Towering rock faces above us on one side with sheer cliffs on the other. The French government even had to install wire nets to prevent falling boulders from crashing into our car! And once we got up to the top – it was crazy windy (blowing out to sea) and there were no handrails or any barriers whatsoever!

But the danger was worth it – check out these photos. I’m not sure how the panorama is going to look on your computer but in real life it was spectacular. Click on it for full screen.

photo (75)

photo (77)

photo (81)

Props to Elise, Marc, and Arnaud – thanks for setting this up. I give Cap Canaille my highest rating ever “Four Crapped-pants”

Note: Rating system is a sliding scale based on my level of scaredness during a given excursion.

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