Apart from restaurants, and shops with souvenirs and ski gear and outfit, there is not much to see in the village. The town is on the small side and beside some newer ski resorts, most buildings are from the seventies, which is synonym of ugly. But there are some cosy corners and the town is upgrading.more
The Col du Tourmalet is the highest road mountain pass in the central Pyrenees. Elevation 2115 m and about 4 km from La Mongie. The pass is very popular because it’s a climb in the famous Tour de France. Every day we saw cyclists from different countries struggling to make the climb or coming down the mountain at dizzy speed, trying to avoid the...more
Place Des Thermes, Bagneres-de-Bigorre, 65200, France
Good for: Families
31 Rue Marechal Foch, Bagneres-de-Bigorre, 65200, France
Good for: Couples
9 Rue De la Republique, Bagneres-de-Bigorre, 65200, France
Good for: Couples
From the outside, the supermarket looks quite ugly, but inside it is neat and clean.
The store has a rather funny "detailed" internet site (see below). I found this promising website before starting our trip and decided it would be the best place for our supplies . The real thing, however, was very disappointing. Probably they have a larger choice in high season, which is in Winter, but in July... one needs to be satisfied with wrinkled fruit and vegetables.
No bad word however about the service. The manager and the staff are very friendly.
What to buy: All pre- packed items, such as cheese, drinks, canned food, dried sausages, wine, drinks...
Limited choice, but far enough to survive.
What to pay: Average
This is a tradition which is still remaining in the Pyrenees.
In June, the farmers of the lower villages, such as Campan (see my last "off the beaten path tip") drive their herd of cattle and flocks of sheep towards the unfenced hig mountains. The animals will remain there, running free and grazing the fresh high mountains pasture all Summer, until it's getting colder again. Then they are brought back to the stables.
The farmers recognize their animals because they have a coloured stamped mark on their back, and also remain in the same herd. Some of the sheep and cows wear a bell and this jingling sound was omnipresent in La Mongie. The animals don’t restrict theirself to the pastures, they graze all the grass there is, and they walk shameless into the back yards and in the centre of the town, searching between the houses and the cars after a tasty weed sprouting between the pavings. Idyllic, … but watch out for their "presents". :-)
A dense fog is not rare at this altitude. Our first day was very foggy, and locals told we were lucky the other days were sunny. I can assure you, a bit of fog is fun, but seeing NOTHING at all is depressing.
The photo shows the view we had from our balcony the first day. Compare with the photo on the intro page.
We drove a lot of times through this nearby town Campan. And now I am home, I regret I have no photos of it, while this town was really something special. Apart from the old rural character, with the typical houses and barns, the old customs are still applied. Everywhere in town we saw life-sized old-fashioned fabric dummies, dressed in different...more
When we watched the report of the Tour de France 2008 on TV, with the arrival in Hautacam, we also watched a publicity of this all-season mountain bobsled. As we are always into some fun and quite impulsive, my husband and I looked at each other and said : let’s go there! That’s how we got the idea to go to the Pyrenees.Only a week later, we rode...more
The Cirque de Gavarnie is a classic must do, when in the area. I remember my parents (now in their eighties) went there too, when there were young. It's an impressive solid Pyerean rocky mountain wall, a natural fronteer between France and Spain.Drive to the town of Gavarnie and leave the car (obligatory) on one of the parking lots (4€ /day). The...more
In Spring and in Summer, the high mountains of the Pyrenees are full of flowers. They belong to the patrimony and cannot be picked. Besides, they don't survive in a vase and wilt after picking. Some flowers are protected, such as the wild thistle.
photo2: Lotus Alpinus
photo3: Campanula Schenchzeri
photo 4: Iris of the Pyrenees