Ah, what would a trip to a French city be without acquainting yourself with the public restrooms? This is a cleverly disguised one - and one that requires payment to use. If you know that you can't hold it very long, make sure that you have plenty of small change. These booths aren't cheap, and they don't accept cards or bills.
La Pierre St Martin Ski resort
This ski resort is the most westerly resort for downhill skiing in the Pyrenees; it is a small resort, with some very fine tracks. The highest point is close to the Pic, d’Anie, close to the boundary between Bearn and Basque Land.
To go there, South of Pau, Direction Oloron, then Aramits, then Arette, then direction Spain, La Pierre, Saint Martin.
You can park your car very close to the tracks and the ticket booths. Then as usual, in N’Py resorts, maps, and other information are available. Reastaurants and bars at the feet of the tracks, etc. . .
There, don’t miss the tracks from “Secteur Mailhné”, which depart from Soum de Coy mountain, close to the Pic d’Anie; they are not reachable directly, but with intermediate stations of chair lifts, and the maps help. Difficulties of tracks ranked from green to black, but even the black one is not difficult.
main picture View Westward from Soum de Coy: Basque Pyrenees; notice there is not a lot of snow (Jan 2007), it did not snow a lot this year, and it is windy on the tops.
picture 2: Arette resort in the middle of the picture taken from a chair lift going to Soum de Coy.
picture 3:Pic d’Anie. Not a lot of snow when this picture was taken.
picture 4: Resort, parking and Pic d’Anie in the background. Feet of tracks is at the right of the picture.
picture 5: And, when going back to Pau, have a stop in Arette village, for a hot chocolate, sitting near the fireplace at Gouillardeu’s “Bar-Restaurant”. Open on Sundays, very “typical” in some way, with local people and some skiers like me having a short rest before the drive to Pau. Cannot miss it in the small village, on the main road, right side going to Pau , just before a right turn and the church (on the left).
Jardin du Château
The Jardin du Château (which should not be confused with the Parc du Château) is a beautifully manicured garden at the bottom of the castle and still within its walls. You have to follow a path that leads down from the inner court of the Castle into what you might think is the moat before you can walk through the well-maintained alleys. It has everything that you might expect from a royal garden – arbours and roses and flower beds. It is surprisingly small compared to the size of the Castle, but then again there are so many other gardens and parks in the town that perhaps the draw of this particular garden was privacy and not fauna.
Mementos from Chateau At Time of Henri
The birth and life of Henri in Pau include some items of his and others surrounding his family. The initial crib is on show as evidence of his great future. There is an important monumental fireplace and a painting of him in youth. The ceiling of a one room is decorated to remember Queen Margueret and finally a painting of her in the house gallery. It is worth remembering that she is writers, writer of the Heptamoran/ of the first famous female
The church of Lucq de Bearn: the altar
The tomb stone mentioned in the previous tip is now the altar of the church. It is a Pyrenean marble tomb stone with very fine carvings of Christian inspiration.
On one small side, Adam and Eva like at the beginning of the world (main picture), with the wisdom and science tree and the uuuuuuuh ugly snake. . . . Amazing the representation of paradise has not changed in fact even in very early Christian times the paradise was seen like very later and even nowadays. This tomb stone looks quite nice as an altar in this small church (picture 2). On the right side of this low-relief (picture3) is a representation of the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham; we can even see the ram in his “box” at the extreme right. This scene on the left side of the altar is not identified, it seems (picture 4).
Later paintings show as violent scenes; saints had hard life (well, better to say hard ends.. . ) ; seriously I am not sure who this is, it is not Saint Vincent. (picture5).