The Pyrenees

One of my favourite ever ‘Strange’ Family holidays was a camping and birdwatching trip to the French Pyrenees when I was 12.

The weather was beautiful, the animal life was spectacular, and we spent much of our non-active time harvesting scraps of information about a major global sporting event that was going on at the time (Barcelona Olympics ’92).

Last week, 26 years later, I had the pleasure of taking my wife on a trip down my personal memory lane by staying in a deluxe caravan in the same village – Luz Saint Sauveur – where I stayed with my family. As with the ‘classic’ ’92 holiday, we had gorgeous weather, there was a major sporting event on which we were keeping a fairly close eye, and the area was absolutely teeming with wildlife (they even have bears now! – not that we saw any). Please enjoy the following photos:

Our caravan and amazing view

Green lizard joining us for breakfast

The ‘grand cascade’ of the Cirque de Gavarnie, looming over the village of Gavarnie

A walk up the trail to the grand cascade

Jo in Gavarnie

Jo getting showered

A less worn, forested walk back to the car

Barbecue outside our caravan

A chairlift and a hike led us to the beautiful Lac de Gaube

Jo by the Lac de Gaube

My Mum recently reminded me that my grandad could go on a walk and name every flower, so in honour of him I decided to photograph some of the fauna.

Hard to take a bad picture of a frondy fern


My experimentation with the 16:9 aspect ratio continues (at the Lac de Gaube)

Kestrel spotted on a walk near Gavarnie


The legendary Lammergeier

Friendly red squirrel

A pyreneen icon – Griffon Vulture

Possibly the most pyreneen photograph imaginable

We watched these guys for ages

The Col des Tentes, on the Spanish border – 50:50 split of ‘bonjour’ vs ‘hola’ greetings from fellow hikers

The icy patches looked innocuous but the paths across them were unsettling enough to make us turn back before completing our intended hike

Big snow patch

France in the foreground, Spain in the distance

Fitting to take in the sight of the Cirque de Gavarnie one last time on our last day

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