PYRENEES #4: A huge waterfall as a shower

Although it’s a holiday, you have to wake up early, to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms during your walks. At 8:00 o’clock, Peter and I ordered freshly baked baguettes and croissants. After a tasty breakfast, we drove to Gavarnie for a round walk to the Cirque de Gavarnie (1.360 m). The sun is shining and despite the fact that the place is quite touristic, it is still very quiet. We asked for some information at the Tourist information office, and we are a bit disappointed. This walk was also blocked by snow, and some avalanches had occurred. But the lady who helped us also told that one day earlier, some people finished the walk. So we decided to give it a try.

Cirque de Gavarnie

Danger of falling
The walk started with a long climb between pine trees and became gradually higher. The views on the valley were stunning. After having walked for 1,5 hours, we bumped into a huge layer of snow right on the walking path. Walking over the snow was no option. The snow was melting and we couldn’t really see its thickness. The only way was to carefully climb around it. One mistake, and you could fall down into the valley, with a fatal ending. But step by step, we managed to cross the gap safely. It was a great adventure!

The Grande Cascade

Almost fallen
We followed the path and passed many streams and small waterfalls. At the end of the path, we had a great view on waterfall “The Grande Cascade”, which has a falling height of 400 m. Of course we wanted to move closer to the big waterfall. This time, we had to walk over a huge layer of snow (snow bridge) and a wild, little river. It was difficult to find a right spot to cross the river. I Chu almost fell into the water, because of the wet rocks. At one point, it was possible to cross the river, with some quick jumps on stepping stones. Some ice-cold water got into my shoe. The final climb to the waterfall was steep and difficult. We couldn’t actually touch the waterfall. However, because of the immense force of the waterfall, the water drops were blown into our faces. We were soaking wet. It was a refreshing finish of a beautiful, sunny (and sometimes dangerous) walk.

The Grande Cascade

Pyrenees by car
After our satisfying walk, we decided to explore some other parts of the Pyrenees by car. We saw some beautiful parts with great mountain views, but we also passed a ‘ghost town’, La Mongie, which was packed with ugly ski hotels. What a shame.

Cirque de Gavarnie

Christian ‘Circus Town’
When we arrived in Lourdes, we decided to have some dinner. The restaurant that we picked, ‘Le Cabanon‘, was not open yet. We had an extra hour to check out the Christian ‘Circus Town’. Lourdes has many touristic shops with ugly (and useless) ‘Bible souvenirs’, such as ‘holy water’. It is funny to have this weird experience, but in the end, we found it to be quite depressing.

Bad Restaurant Le Cabanon - 2012 - Lourdes France

Bad restaurant
The restaurant didn’t make me happy either. The service was incredibly bad, and the dishes were not fresh, too simple and overpriced. I had a combination of overcooked and (nearly) raw fries with my mussels. Peter’s dish (scallops) was a bit better. The fresh and modern interior of the restaurant had fooled us. I rate this place with a three. After our dinner, I went to the nearest McDonalds to order some burgers to fill my stomach. What a deception. However, we ended the evening cheerfully in our apartment, by playing Uno.

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