Pyrenees Mountains in France

Greetings from the Midi-Pyrénées region in France! After an epic 3-week US west coast road trip, Laura and I made our way back to the UK on Saturday. On Sunday I flew to France for the first time ever..

On Tuesday morning we set off from Saint Amans heading south towards Andorra. On the way we drove through a great big cave that apparently just happened to have a hole big enough for cars to drive through it.

Really.

“The Grotte du Mas d’Azil has been inhabited for more than 30 000 years. The tunnel is 420m in length and an average width of 50m and it is the only cave in Europe that can be traversed by car. ”

Passing through the cave, we stopped on the other side for a quick coffee and soon after, we set off towards the Pyrenees.

Nearing the peaks and ascending, at around 2000m above sea level we discovered a man made lake, nestled in between the mountains. The sun was out, the skies were bright blue, mountains covered in what appeared to be a dark green moss, and the beautiful beige cattle regurgitating grass provided an almost staged contrast to their surroundings.

It truly is beautiful up there, but I’ll let you be the judge of that!

From this point we were a mere 5km from the Andorran border, however the only road we could take to get closer to Montcalm Massif was inacessible with a little French car! So we turned back and made our way towards Pamiers, briefly stopping in Foix to capture the beautiful Château de Foix known from 987 CE.

In one day I fell in love with France and decided I’ll be camping in these mountains in future! If you love camping, there are 784 camping sites in the Midi Pyrenees region, so well worth a visit in the summer! -Especially when you’re able to enjoy delicious local wines starting from 2 Euros a bottle!

Pyrenees Camping Info

“Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction – so easy to lapse into – that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.”

— Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit
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