Grand prix de Pau; a walk in the paddocks.
For me walking between the stands and workshops is at least as much interesting as the races (not only because of possible encounters like the two from the last picture of the previous tip!!!); there is a special ambience, a special busy ambience. And I was amazed how people worked here with high technology and also very basic work; I even remembered when I was “tuning” my Citroen 2CV, 25 years ago, some gestures are still the same, only the cars are not (really not!) the same.
main picture : Cleaning tyres with hot burning iron! Did you think of doing it on your own tyres?
picture 2:Preparing the car, changing wheels, checking brakes. . . .
picture 3: A view through spokes of a wheel, and busy mechanics.
picture 4: What is this guy checking in the engine?
picture 5: Cleaning the wheels has to be done very carefully it seems.. . . .
Entrance fees: from 10 to 50 Euro per day, depending where and when.
Asac Basco Béarnais
1 bd Aragon
tel. 05 59 27 31 89
fax. 05 59 27 61 69
The Billère Golf, the first golf course of France
I am not at all a golf player, but it may interest some of the readers to know if there are golfing possibilities in Pau.
Yes there are, and the golf here is the oldest course in France and even continental Europe! This golf was created in 1856, as an English importation product!
The Pau golf club is a somehow “high class” society, as there are only 650 members, and the Golf and club house are open only to members and friends. Well, they have a very good restaurant a friend of mine who was invited there told me.
I know the golf only from outside when I bike on the cycling tracks running along the Gave, and they pass nearby the golf.
A much more popular golf club is in Artiguelouve a western suburb of Pau. PAU GOLF CLUB
Par 69 - 5312 mètres
Adresse: Rue du Golf - 64140 BILLERE
Tél: 05 59 13 18 56
Route de Bayonne, turn left in Billère .
GOLF DE PAU ARTIGUELOUVE
Par 71 - 5904 mètres
Adresse: Domaine Saint-Michel - 64230 ARTIGUELOUVE
Tél: 05 59 83 09 29
10 km West of Pau, route de Mourenx, follow the left bank of the Gave de Pau. At Artiguelouve, turn right and cross the bridge over the Gave; you see it from the bridge.
The Parc Beaumont is in the more modern part of town, east of the Château and the Parlement de Navarre. Given that it is in newer developments, the Parc has been designed along more modern lines, with crushed gravel walkways, a large gazebo and plenty of benches for those who get tired or just want to read. There are lots of open spaces, so this Parc attracts many people who come with their dogs. There are also rose arbours and gardens, small streams and a few monuments with poetry in Latin. One word of warning, however, is that the gazebo and the open spaces attract those who sleep rough, and in the morning I found a small group getting ready to leave their makeshift camp in the gazebo, about 20 minutes before police were on their way into the park.
And now we enter the “cour d’honneur”
We enter through the portico, where a statue of King Henri IV (picture 2) made in the 19th century is welcoming the visitors. The yard inside has a trapezoidal shape, and high walls are surrounding it. On these walls you can see medallions representing famous people who marked the history of Bearn; the western inside wall displays two vertical rows (picture 3) on each side of windows on all height of the wall.
The windows, in a heavily decorated renaissance style (pictures 4 and 5) are worth a look before entering the chateau for a visit. .
Musée national du château de Pau
64 000 Pau
Telephone: 05 59 82 38 02
Visit inside possible only with a guide
Entrance fee: 5 €
Free for young people until 17 and free every first Sunday of the month.
Open throughout the year, every day except: January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th
September 16th to June 14th:
9h30 - 11h45 / 14h - 17h
June 15th to September 15th:
9h30 - 12h15 / 13h30 - 17h45
One of the old capitals of Bearn :Lescar
Lescar, located 10 km west of Pau is an old settlement and the ruins of the Roman city of Benabarnum have been found here; older remains dating up to 3000 years B.C. have been found and some artefacts are visible at the museum. During the late Roman Empire (Historians call it the Lower Empire), it has been renamed Novempopulanie. All these names do not have their origin in the actual Lescar name, which dates from the higher middle age.
Lescar is now part of the outer suburbs of Pau and a residential area counting 8000 inhabitants; it existed long time before Pau and was during periods of the Middle age the capital city of Bearn and walking in the streets reveal to the good eyes some splendours of the past.
On the mainpicture , we see the southern rampart facing the plain of the Gave, big walls and abutments made with pebbles.
In the old city, the entrance gates are big defensive porches (picture 2): porte de l’Esquirette.
A huge donjon dominates the streets in the old city (picture 3), and the little brick tower on picture 4 hosts the Tourist office.
I added a picture taken in the Museum (picture 5), but I will come back there for a better one, sorry and some descriptions from this small but interesting museum.
Additional tip: the tourist office organises guided walking city tours (3.5 Euros), from June to September, departure 9 A.M. including the Roman ruins and some countryside viewpoints and to-see places.