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    Posted August 9, 2012 by
    chorges, france
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel snapshots: South of France

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    Alps of Southern France


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Spending the weekend at National Park Ecrins in Southern France, DCulpPhoto says he wanted to go to an area where few people visit and set his sights on the Petarel Lakes. After a tormenting three-hour hike uphill, he was rewarded with this breathtaking view. "The hike was torturous, but it was so beautiful that you couldn't stop climbing up with the knowledge that it would only get better," he says. "The view was spectacular. The fact that the hike to get there and back was so brutal made everything that much better. My motto is, if you make the effort to go to unique places, you will have unique experiences."
    - Anika3, CNN iReport producer

    Glacial Lakes of Ecrins – When most people think of Southern France, they think of beaches, sunbathers and the rich and famous. For those of us with an affinity for the outdoors, there is a well known secret just 2 hours from Marseille called Ecrins National Park. Why do I use an oxymoron like “well known secret”? This is due to the fact that it is France’s largest national park and there is hardly anyone there. While not on the coast of Southern France, the proximity to the beaches makes it a great place to add to your journey for a couple of days to cool off away from the crowds.
    This particular image is of the Petarel Lakes near the town of La Chapelle en Valgaudemar. The hiking can be very strenuous and a bit unnerving at times, but the views in this magnificent valley are breathtaking.
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