This week we take you on a guided tour of the Hautes Pyrénées, and high they are in altitude and in emotion. As you might have guessed this return to this particular part of the Pyrénées after over 40 years has special meaning.
Firstly this is where as a family we spent every summer for many years. This is where my parents transmitted to my sister Véronique and I a love of nature and taste for effort. It is really special to revisit familiar sites with my family. The only sad thing is mum’s absence and the impact it has on my Dad.
Monné de Cauterets viewed from the Hautacam
Secondly we have come back to Argelès-Gazost, the very place we used to stay at, but this time it is in winter and a very snowy one at that!
The valley of Argelès-Gazost
Thirdly I wanted Wade to discover these spectacular mountains and understand why the Pyrénées have a special place in my heart. If there was one region in France I would ever resettle in, the Pyrénées would be it and I think he would like it too, although his French would have to get a lot better! Skiing, surfing, sailing… he is great at, languages not so much!
Wade from the top of Pic de Naouit
So we take you on the grand tour. Lots of images are included as it was just too hard to keep the gallery to a dozen images! As usual, click on the first image to display in full screen slide show. The captions provide extra details.
We are leaving the Pyrénées on Saturday to return to Toulouse, then back to Normandie.
View of the Valley of Argeles Gazost, with the Viscos mountain in the background
The Village of Sère en Lavedan where we stayed
Our first view of the mountains when we arrived. The view is from our house in Sère au Lavedan
Cirque de Gavarnie – on the other side of the amphitheatre is Spain
The U shape hole in the Gavarnie wall is called the Breche de Roland, sitthing at over 300m of altitude. It was the first glacier we climbed when we were little, a major accomplishment!
Looking behind us at Gavarnie
It snowed during the night. First sight of the mountains on New Year’s Day: Pic du Midi d’Arrens
Pic du Midi d’Arrens – Close up
Gyapète barbu – the biggest European vulture, flying above us at Lac d’Estaing
Arrival at Lac d’Estaing – It snowed overnight and we had to walk the last few miles – well wirth the effort!
Chris, Didier, Véro and Dad at Estaing
Typical Pyrénées architecture
Véro and Dad walking back down – notice the sign: Risk of Avalachances.
Looking towards the Balaitous from above Gaillagos
One of the many barns we saw
Chaîne des Pyrénées from Gaillagos
Pic du Midi de Bigorre
Another barn and the Pyrénées skyline
Monné de Cauterets
We should have hired snowshoes at Hautacam!
The view from the summit of Pic de Naouit, which Wade and I cliimbed
From Hautacam, looking towards the frozen Lake Isaby – we used to fish there as kids!