Gavarnie, Pont D'Espagne and Cauterets
Today started off pretty spectacularly with 90 % of our breakfast being made in the kitchen right here in our B &B. Jams made from blue berries grown locally wild in the mountains. Plums from the tree in their garden and home made bread and banana cake, it was just wonderful very delicious.
When we planned this holiday, as I said yesterday neither of us thought that we would be staying at the foot of the Pyrénées, we definetly didn't think we would go hiking up to the snow line.
A gorgeous little village nestled in the foot of the Pyrénées
At our lovely hosts suggestions we headed to the mountains for the day, to a lovely little village called Gavarnie. Gavarnie is a winter sports village and in summer and in spring is a great spot to start any number of hikes into these beautiful mountains.
Our host suggested this short hike (1 1/2 hours up and an 1 hour back) we didn't have any other plans for the day, so thought why not and off we set . . .
As you can see some areas were pretty pleasant just a nice stroll really, then some areas were a little steep.
We made it to our destination, these mountains were amazing up close and are some 800 metres higher than Mt Kosciusko. Sadly this hotel is now closed, because we really would have enjoyed a drink when we reached this point. It was definetly worth the hike, to see something we never even dreamed of seeing.
This bridge was built from 1859 -1863. The story goes that Emperess Eugenie ( Napolean III ' s wife) liked to visit the town of Luz-Saint-Sauveur, to visits it's spa. She noticed that many of the locals would need to trek the 63metres down to cross the water then trek 63 metres back up. Since this was one of her favourite spots to visit , she decided as a gift to the town she would get Napolean to construct a bridge across the ravine. Sadly none of the photos I took show the sheer drop, but it's very impressive. I look at thinks like this and wonder how they built a bridge across.
I am unsure when this bridge was built, but it used to be the road across the Pyrénées to Spain. About 2-3 metres before this point 2 major streams converge to create this great gushing waterfall, and just think at the moment there is still a lot of snow on the mountains, imagine how full it will be when they melt. Stunning place, we didn't realise but a 1 1/2 hike would have taken us up to a lake above this point, and past a few other waterfalls, but at this point it was getting late and we were ready to head home.
This was an interesting town that has this river flowing straight through it. Many decades ago this little villages was famous for its hot spring spa and as such all the nobles in France, Germany and England flocked here, this has resulted in a very eclectic looking village with buildings, showing influences by all these countries, in some street I could have swarn I was in Paris. Caterers continues to be an important spa town , but is also an important winter sports resort town as well.
Well another super busy day