A Conversation for The French Pyrenees

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Post 1

Mojo's big stick

I'm glad someone's written about the Pyrenees. It's my favourite part of France. I just wanted to add some details to what is an exceptionally well written piece.

St Bertand de Comminges is well worth seeing - but it's most striking feature is that it is on top of a pog, or steep sided hill! There is very little parking at the top, so in high season be prepared to park at the bottom and walk or bus to the top.

The Cathars were not "at it like rabbits"! They beleived in purity and celibacy, especially for the Perfecti. But for the rest of the congregation, the Credens or Believers, they knew celibacy was not practical. So they advocated casual sexual liaisons above marriage, as this was less likely to lead to procreation, and the entrapment of more souls in imperfect bodies.

Montsegur - the ruined castle as seen today was built after the famous seige, and only fell into ruin in the 18th Century . It has nothing to do with the Cathars. No part of the original Cathar castle remains.

Carcassonne - was restored in the 19th century, but those lovely turrets placed on the tower tops are in the fashionable Northern French style! The originals would have been terracotta, not grey, and would have been lower and flatter, in keeping with the local style of architecture. One other note about Carcassonne - it has one of the smallest, lovliest airports I've ever been to, though it has expanded in the last 10 years. Flights from UK Stansted airport can be ridicously cheap, so go now!

My own feelings on the area. Don't bother visiting Andorra unless you're skiing - there is nothing to see. Instead drive over as many 'cols' or mountain passes as you can. They are the best way to see these most incredible mountains.

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Post 2

Gnomon - time to move on

Thanks for these comments too! smiley - winkeye

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