Back to France and the Haute Pyrenees

Finally after a two week detour to Spain, we returned to France and headed into the mountains. Our first day back was rather a long one with driving over 200kms around some very interesting windy roads and passes (cols), one of which was ferme (or closed) but of course we had to just check!!! Needless to say it was definitely not passable with a huge avalanche of snow sitting across the road about 2kms up and so the detours began….

Lac de Gaube

It has been a very long winter here and on our second day, although we had to make another couple of changes to our planned route, we did manage to drive over the Col de Peyresourde, which is one of the stages of the Tour de France and it snowed, which was pretty cool (but also freezing; we got an ice warning message come up on the dash of the car!).

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Etang de Bethmale

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The scenery of course is simply stunning and we spent five nights in Bagneres de Biggore, 30 kms outside Lourdes and although we had cold and wet weather, it didn’t stop us from visiting the big three Grand Sites: Le Pic du Midi; Gavarnie; and Pont D’Espagne. All of which were incredible as you can see from the photos.

Telescope at Pic du Midi

We did of course visit Lourdes and I went through the Grotte at the Santuary where Saint Bernadette was visited by Mary 18 times and a spring miraculously appeared at the ninth visit, the water of which is, believed by many, to have healing properties. It was a bit overwhelming actually as there were so many people there hoping for a miracle; you could feel the sense of desperation as well as the religious belief. And yes Lauren and Samantha I cried….

Kate in the  Grotto

Rosary Basilica and river in Lourdes