When we hiked along the cobbles and rocks of the Reyran river towards the ruins, no one spoke. It wasn't the first time we hiked to the ruins of the Malpasset dam. We walk there at least once a year, often taking a hiking group along.
Yet when we walked past these giant cement blocks scattered by the river bed, something muted us. Something about the power exerted by nature (in this case, retained water behind a wall) and the way in can explode tons of concrete into smitherings.
The story of the Malpasset dam bursting in December 1959 is well-known in Frejus, and in all of France. Take a look at our full description here: http://www.azuralive.com/2007/01/le_barrage_de_m.html
We continued our hike up from the river bed onto the main path and stopped at the upper viewpoint.
The hike to the Malpasset Dam is hike #6 in the hiking guide to the French Riviera "26 Gorgeous Hikes on the Western Côte d'Azur".
Note that as of December 2011, the cemenet ford on the D37 which leads the parking lot to the Malpasset Dam has collapsed. Work is under way to reinforce that section of the D37 road. We expect it to complete before the Spring 2012. In the meantime, you can park just ahead of the broken ford and continue afoot to the hike's start point.
The 26 Gorgeous Hikes hiking guide is available from Amazon France, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon Japan and a few copies left on Amazon US too: