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.
Some prefer indoor skiing, less of that cold white stuff and easier to
keep one's balance :)
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.
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
All the trails are hidden under the snow, so it is not always easy
to know which way to go.
That hike took us the whole day. The next day, we visited the "Cirque
de Gavarnie", less kilometers, but also less sunshine.
A picture inside the cirque, water is coming down everywhere. Do you see
the man near the bottom-right corner?
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.
Time for a break near the top.
Going down free-style sure is fun. As you can see, everybody
has his or her own technique.Sliding, surfing, somersaults, whatever.
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 sun disappeared on our way down, we ended up with a little snow and
That was the last day in Cauterets. On our way to Toulouse, we visited
St Bertrand-de-comminges, which has a very peculiar church.
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