As our tour de southwest France continues, we’re headed to the town of Gavarnie, which is about an hours drive from Cauterets, to hike the Cirque de Gavarnie. It’s a sunday, the roads are fairly empty, and we soon found out why. The French that are not in church, or enjoying a relaxing sunday brunch, are out jumping off bridges.
About halfway through our drive, we passed along a massive stone bridge over a river gorge where a huge crowd had gathered to enjoy a hip-hop barbeque while people took the plunge over the bridge (there was a long wait, so Renee and I opted out…at least that’s what we told each other).
We watched a few fearless flyers, and then headed back on the road to reach our destination. The Cirque de Gavarnie is a massive natural amphitheatre, which is an enclosed rock formation, in the Pyrenees with waterfalls all around. Pretty impressive.
The town of Gavarnie is a cute little mountain town that mainly serves as a base for hiking, not really a destination on its own.
Along the trail we passed babbling rivers, people riding donkeys (yes, you can rent a donkey), meadows of sheep, and finally our destination of the Cirque. It was a beautiful site and definitely worth the walk.
The main trail was pretty crowded, but if you veer off the main path, there are some great, and empty, alternative trails, which we opted for on the way back down.
Our reward for a streneous day of hiking? A visit to the Bains du Rocher which are a collection of pools, hot tubs, saunas, hammans, and showers to relax and ease the body. For about $20 bucks you have two hours to enjoy the baths, and some serious people watching. No pictures allowed 😦