March 2001, a (very) long weekend in the Pyrenees.

We stayed in Cauterets, which has a ski domain resort named "Le Lys". The first day, I tried skiing for the first time. It is really different from skating, but quite fun. Still need to practice a little though :-) Unfortunately the snow was melting quickly, and the station was closed the next day anyway due to strong winds.
View from the ski slopes towards Cauterets, down in the valleymeagain me, but moving this timeand the last picture of me

Some prefer indoor skiing, less of that cold white stuff and easier to keep one's balance :)
Sylvie disguised as professional indoor skier

Instead, we went to "Pont d'espagne", an area from which a lot of hiking trails start.We first visited it at the end of the day near sunset. Because of the nice weather the snow is melting quickly, so a lot of water is coming down the mountains.

A rock in the riverA big water-fall
The valleyAnother view on the valley

The next day we went for a hike, first to the refuge Wallon, and then up to the "Nere" lake. There was snow above 2000m so we had to use snow shoes.
me againGilles

All  the trails are hidden under the snow, so it is not always easy to know which way to go.
Still a long way to the top...lake "Nere"

  That hike took us the whole day. The next day, we visited the "Cirque de Gavarnie", less kilometers, but also less sunshine.

A lot of snow and ice blocking the trailThe cirque seen from a distance
A picture inside the cirque, water is coming down everywhere. Do you see the man near the bottom-right corner?
Inside the cirque de Gavarnie

The day ended with rain, snow, and hail. Luckily, the good weather returned the next day, in time for another hike. Again with snow shoes, but this time also with a pair of gaiters ("guetres" in french). Having snow melting inside your shoes is not fun!

When you go where no-one has gone before (since the last snow-fall that is), you have to make the trail.
yep, me againSylvie, still with a smile on her faceGilles and Sylvie (smiling less :)

Time for a break near the top.
The three of us

  Going down free-style sure is fun. As you can see,  everybody has his or her own technique.Sliding, surfing, somersaults, whatever.
Sylvie trying a new sliding techniqueWe sure laughed a lot on our way down :)me trying to surfGilles just after his somersault

We sure left a lot of footprints in the snow. The zig-zags going up and the tracks going straight down are all ours.
The slope full with footprints
The sun disappeared on our way down, we ended up with a little snow and light rain.
The river in the rain

That was the last day in Cauterets. On our way to Toulouse, we visited St Bertrand-de-comminges, which has a very peculiar church.
The tower from a distanceThe church's ceilingThe village from a distance

That's all!

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