Grand prix historique: vintage car races.
The last week end of may, are vintage car races in Pau, and it is fun to look at some of the old fast cars.
There are mainly old formula 1 cars and grand prix cars from the 5ties to 7ties ; other cars were also running this year but the weather as usual in Bearn, totally unpredictable, was quite capricious and it rained a lot!
Here (main picture ) are formula one from the sixties, turning at the railway station turn. From the tyre type of this car (picture 2) you can suspect it is raining, or at least it is not far from raining, and here on the ascent of the palm tree grove the pack (picture 3) is projecting water , making a sort of a fog on the street. Great names of motor racing are on the two last pictures.
Free where access is allowed or 10-12 Euros for access to the paddocks or galleries; 17 Euros for the week end.
Artouste ski resort.
Artouste is a rather small ski resort in the High Ossau Valley, on the road from Pau to Spain, via the Pourtalet Pass.
In winter ski is the main activity of this resort, but it offers also summer activities, with a little train (the highest train in Europe!) which reaches the Artouste high mountain lake, from the Col de la Sagette, where you can get with the cable car working also in summer. Lots of easy hour to half day high mountain hikes can be done from the Lac d’Artouste.
For ski, the cable car links the Fabrèges lake (and resort) to the Col de la Sagette, where the ski tracks begin and are almost all laid out on the north and East faces of the Sagette and Lurien mountains, above the small Soussoueou Valley.
As usual in most Pyrenees ski resorts, most downhill tracks are on north faces, and ski is best in the morning, with the sun; from early afternoon, you ski in the shade of the mountains.
Ski and snowboard rental, clothes, restaurants, etc. . . like most ski resorts but small scale here, and “family related” atmosphere.
Artouste train: http://www.pyrenees-pireneus.com/VISITE_64_Artouste.htm
Enjoy the light inside Palais Beaumont
Palais Beaumont, since its 2000 renovation has become a congress and conference centre. I visited it several times for professional reasons, but when it is empty you much more appreciate the greenhouse layout; big windows, inside mirrors covering totally some walls, palm trees and ferns inside, all this is really a change of scene. The main picture displays one of the huge halls with wide windows, glass roofs, a rotunda ceiling which by far give enough light to the bamboo and palms to grow. Through the big windows it is of course possible to have a look at the mountains (pictures 2 and 3); and, looking on the other side, you see the windows reflecting in the big mirrors (picture 4). In the basement there are temporary exhibitions (picture 5) of paintings, photographs, generally of local interest (have a close look at the pictures displayed).
The Palais Beaumont, as I told, is today mainly a conference centre proposing 2 amphitheatres which can accommodate 540 and 200 people. The big halls of 750 and 900 square meters can host up to 800 persons for special events like congress lunches or company gatherings. Many other rooms of various sizes are also available. The Palais Beaumont is a member of “the historic conference centres” association .
General information on Palais Beaumont:
Contact : Le Palais Beaumont, Parc Beaumont F 64000 PAU
Tél : +33 (0) 559 112 000 Fax : +33(0) 559 112 001
Site internet : http://www.paucc.com
A Collection of Tapestries of the 15 & 1600's
To people with a strong interest in the development of tapestry as an Art form, the walk through of the Chateau at Pau is a rewarding experience. There are how ever, as is usual with many collections, some difficulties. Most collections are set out with little feeling about the relationship to the other members of the collection. Luckily the newest works, the Gobelin ones, are seen first are on the ground floor. These must have among the first ones, there being only a little over 8 years between the beginning of the factory and Henri IV's assassination. Here we see Henri enjoying his family life. On the main floor of the castle are works from a number of sources especially works from Flanders of the 1550 period and later. There may have been a large book for sale but we could not have carried it. Here are five that we photographed (as best we could reproduce them).
The famous Cathedral of Lescar (1)
Lescar was in the Middle age the siege of a diocese and the bishop Guido build the cathedral in the first half of the 12th century.
This roman building is not impressive in its general form, from ouside, but when you get closer you see a remarkable exterior decoration, with essentially the modillons, (an architectural element giving support to a corniche), on the cheviot of the cathedral. The main picture shows the cheviot and on picture 2 is an individual modillon; the general view of the cheviot (picture 3) contrasts with the southern side of the ship (picture 4) made of brick, a probable late reconstruction, and we notice there are no “artistic” decoration, except the layout of the bricks.
Did the cathedral builders leave their signature picture 5 or is it a later graffiti? I like the idea that the architect or the master mason left his mark for the 21st century visitor. . .