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Vacances en France: Pyrenees and the Pays Cathare
Posted by: srp on Jan 25, 2008 - 10:28 AM
Travels
We have continued to enjoy beautiful sunny days (highs around 75-78) and starry nights. We spent two nights in the Pyrenees in the town of Bagneres de Bigorre at Les Petites Vosges.


We drove across the spectacular Col de Tourmalet and into Gavarnie, where we hiked about three miles into a massive cirque with waterfalls streaming down from glaciers high above. On our honeymoon ten years ago we visited the Spanish side of the same national park and hiked into a cirque in the Ordesa national park near Monte Perdido (which is called Mont Perdu on the French side of the mountains).

Thursday September 12th it was on to the Haut Languedoc by way of Toulouse. We hoped to spend an hour or two wandering the old city, but after two traffic jams and a nightmare of a parking garage we had barely 20 minutes to sprint to the Cathedral and take a quick look and still make our lunch reservations at O Saveurs just about 15 minutes out of town. Lunch was fabulous, and we made it to our hotel in Lacabarede around 5 pm. After dinner on the terrace we planned our travel route for our anniversary day.

We visited the ancient Cathar stronghold of Albi – a beautifully preserved city of pink brick buildings with its oldest bridge continually in use for 1,000 years.

On the way there we called for a lunch reservation at L’Esprit du Vin, and we had thrown our dirty clothes in the backpack on the off chance we spotted a Laundromat. At the very end of our walking tour as we were headed back for lunch, we spotted the Lavematique! After perusing the somewhat complicated procedures, determining we needed to buy soap and running back to the car for the dirty clothes we managed to just get things started in time for us to make our lunch reservations. Of course, I had to duck out at 2:00 and move the clothes into dryers after allowing the usual hour and a half for the wash cycle to complete. We finished coffee and dessert and Voila! Clothes clean and dry.

Our lunch at L’Esprit du Vin was amazing. Little amuses were provided at least three times during the course of the lunch. I did not want to leave but we did have to get our laundry eventually. All in all it was a great way to celebrate the first ten years of marriage!

 
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