Balcony on the Pyrenees
The deep valleys cut into the Pyrenees, access keys to the ports that encircle them,
Domain of the shepherds and herds in freedom, towards the summer pastures the pastoral paths hoist you,
The mountain lakes with crystal clear waters reveal an unsuspected life between forests and peat bogs,
In the majestic silence of these meadows, the bells of the herds signal the man on the vigil.
Imposing wall on the Franco-Spanish border, its discovery spreads over large areas,
Here opens the adventure between preserved nature, anthology of heritage and human encounters,
With cultural identities as different as those of the Basques, Bigourdans, Ariégeois and Catalans,
Pyrenees mountains, a link between two seas, you will always sparkle from the Rhune to the Hispanic Canigou.
In this illumination of colors and harmony, when the sun sets fire to the crimson rocks, inaccessible,
So a geological poem is written in this magical garden, inciting respect like a bible,
The contrast between the raw green of the pastures, the whiteness of the vertical walls of another age,
And the deep blue of the southern sky plays the score of a babbling polychrome symphony.
In the distance it rises from the Roussillon plain, rising from the sea to 2,800 m in a single evolution,
This Catalan Fuji-Yama where the vegetation changes between lavender, cistus and pignada, strange mountain,
The summit ridge of Canigou offers a magnificent view of Conflent, Roussillon and Cerdagne,
The descent into the "eboulades" is done by a path made in 1276 by Pierre III of Aragon.
In the Haut-Conflent, above the Puymorens pass, a lake at 2,300 m allows a refreshing swim,
The Estanyol lake and its terrifying dragon illustrates the many legends of the sacred mountain of the Catalans,
At the foot of Carlit, the Bouillouses lake, shaped on the Têt, is a rewarding goal for a family outing,
In the heart of Capcir, near Les Angles, the lake of Matemale, on the Aude offers exciting nautical activities.
On the other side of the Canigou, the men of the Middle Ages built, at 1,100 m, the abbey of St Martin,
Clinging to its rocky peak, the thousand-year-old abbey church overlooks the Gorges de Cady with its fortified cliffs,
"El Canigo" shields the gaze from the hair-dressed young ladies of the organs of Île sur Têt, revealing their lace,
While in the Gorges de La Fou, trabucaïres and miquelets were sown in the 19th century. winged terror.
Climbing the Pyrenean foothills, producing the Port of French Catalonia here Grenache is king,
Cultivation on terraces prevents any mechanization, Banyuls reigns over the Côte Vermeille,
After harvesting the grapes at good maturity, the natural sweet wine, mutated by adding neutral alcohol, becomes marvelous,
The demi-muids undergo the bite of the sun which accelerates aging in wooden barrels.
In red and gold, Perpignan does not forget that it was the capital of the Kings of Majorca,
Their palace-citadel, mixes Romanesque and Gothic with its brick cayroux, lined with pebbles,
With its two red brick towers, crowned with crenellations, the Castillet serves as the emblem of the city,
Thanks to Salvador Dali, the station was considered the cosmic center of the universe, not at all mediocre.
Leaving Andorra on the right, the Col du Puymorens connects the Catalan country to the Ariège mountains, without huts,
The ascent of the Pic des 3 Seigneurs offers a 360° view of the Courbière, Vicdessos and Arac valleys,
In waterlogged peat bogs, the greedy sundew, with its glandular plants, sticks insects,
While the mountain is transformed into a cotton field by the inflorescences of the downy rush or cotton grass.
In the great glacial cirque of Soulcem, the crystal clear waters of La Gardelle lakes are difficult to access,
In its sumptuous mineral landscapes some black princes Mérens play the guardians of the heritage,
Here the magnificent orris of Carla, a real stone village, with girbé huts, in suitable dry stone,
Recall that in Vicdessos, when summer comes, each family, "papé" in mind, "amoutagnat" in full.
Spa resort with sixty hot springs, Ax les Thermes offers winter sports,
In the heart of the city in the ladres basin, spa guests and tourists take advantage of the boiling footbath,
Made famous by the little Queen, the Port of Lers and its small pond lead to the Couserans,
Where the cathedral of St Lizier, of Toulouse Gothic style endowed with an octagonal bell tower, knew many lay brothers.
Surrounded by pollard beeches, the emerald waters of Lake Bethmale sparkle,
In this valley, the men wear the "bareto", colored panties,
The gaiters with cords with pompoms, the embroidered white wool waistcoat,
And their famous tapered clogs in memory of Esclarisse, shine.
Located at the confluence of the Arget and the Ariège, Foix on its proud rocky outcrop,
Around the year 1000 saw the birth of a castle which protected it, the Counts later converted it into an expensive palace,
From the legendary Gaston Fébus, to the future King of France, Henri IV, they marked history,
One of its half-timbered houses bearing the coat of arms, blood and gold pals and Béarn cowhide in stencil.
It is the Portet d'Aspet pass that will take us from Couserans to the Garonne roads with multiple waterfalls,
The "Queen of the Pyrenees" of the upper valley of the Pique, Bagnères de Luchon offers hydrotherapy and skiing,
Nearby dominated by the circus and the Crabioules peak, the area of the chamois, as climbing,
St Béat, charming fortified village of Comminges, experienced in 2013 the terrible floods of the Garonne in fury.
Between Peyresourde and Col de Menté, under Louis XIV the great earthquake shook the Bigorre,
Arreau at the gates of the Aure and Louron valleys, also experienced seismic upheavals,
Offering a beautiful ski resort, La Mongie opens the door to the Pic du Midi de Bigorre,
The mythical Tourmalet, "bad detour", starting from Ste Marie de Campan ducycling is a classic.
In this mid-mountain belt there is a green and rural valley dear to the Bigourdans,
Where the marked trails lead you from village to village, to meet the inhabitants,
The Batsurguère valley between Lourdes and Argelès-Gazost, at the foot of Jer and Béout, these two peaks,
Reveals its geological history with its slate quarries and ancient sarcophagus quarries.
Mountain and wall at the same time, it is the most mysterious building of the most mysterious of architects,
It is the colosseum of nature, it is Gavarnie, according to Victor Hugo for the amphitheater of geolects,
Arrived at the heart of the circus, the highest waterfall in Europe with its 300 m ensures the Herculean spectacle,
Via the Col de Boucharo, a path leads to the Brèche de Roland, a link between the two Pyrenean slopes.
In these Hautes Pyrénées, Tarbes and Lourdes reveal their different destinies, one religious the other military,
The Prefecture was for a long time the economic lung by its manufacture of weapons and Leclerc tanks,
For the Marian city, the fervor for the miracle of Bernadette Soubirous in the cave of Massabielle remains intact,
Some will prefer to take the Pic de Jer electric funicular to enjoy the belvedere and contemplate.
It is via Aubisque that you will reach Basses-Pyrénées and Eaux Bonnes, a resort dear to Empress Eugénie,
On the side of Aas, it is by a whistled language that the shepherds communicate through the Ossau valley,
In the invigoratingly cool valley, Lake Ayous reflects the rocky tooth of the Pic du Midi d'Ossau,
This "split molar" is named Jan-Pè by the Béarnais, Jean for the large woodpecker and Pierre for the small one.
From Oloron-Sainte-Marie to the Somport pass, the Aspe valley stretches over 40 km,
With its sumptuous landscapes, its pastoral traditions and its medieval villages, it is a paradise, to say,
The Col du Somport since the 12th century. allows pilgrims to go to Compostela by way of Arles,
Dominating a confluence of ravines, the fort of Portalet, partly dug in the rock is the lock of Aspe.
In a single day, there is a country where you can see the mountains, the sea and the countryside,
“Ongi etorri Euskal Herria”, Welcome to the Basque Country, close to Spain,
From the valley of the confines of the Aldudes, to the balcony over the ocean of the Corniche,
Towards the highlands of Soule, passing through the star villages of Labourd, rich.
St Jean de Luz keeps the memory of the marriage of Louis XIV with the Infanta Marie-Thérèse,
Biarritz chic and elegant, fruit of an imperial passion between Napoleon III and Eugénie the beloved,
"Baïona", good river in Basque, at the confluence of the Adour and the Nive, takes its ease,
While the little cogwheel train reaches the top of the Rhune between Ocean and Pyrenees.
Thanks to its access by the funicular, crossing the palm grove, the belvedere reveals the lower town,
On the Promenade des Anglais at the end of the 19th century. strollers admired the toilets of weary ladies,
In the Trespoey district stand a hundred sumptuous villas of wealthy Americans attracted by Pau,
But facing the Pyrenees, it is the Château Henri IV that made the reputation of the upper town.
Et And as a Tibetan proverb recommends:
When you get to the top of the mountain, keep climbing
Guy says l’Arié…..Joie