We didn't spend the entire time on the observatory site - the group hired a car, and on one of our days off, three of us went to see the Gorges du Verdon, allegedly the second biggest canyon in the world. We entered the canyon at its lower end, and drove through. Stunningly strong winds were blowing down the valley and at one viewpoint we couldn't even get out of the car. It rocked about in the wind and we were pretty sure that if we'd have opened the door, it would have been torn off.
Further up the canyon we walked a little way up to a couple of view points. It started to snow briefly but luckily not for long, and we enjoyed standing right on the edge of heart-stopping precipices to look down on the tiny Verdon river far below. After that we drove back downstream, stopping again at the windiest point because it had the best views of the turqoise river. At the end of the valley, the river broadened, the wind dropped completely, and the Verdon carried on placidly towards the sea.