Thursday, 14 August 2014

Chateau de Foix and Col de Pailheres

 

Our final day before travelling home and a drive up to the Col de Pailheres at 2001m took us into the cloud, so with no views to inspire us to climb to the higher summits we decided to drive up the valley to Foix and its Chateau, once the heartland of the Cathars.  The castle dominates the town in the French département of Ariège and played an important strategic role in mediaeval French history with its impregnable walls, later becoming a prison.  A fascinating place to visit.

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Early morning at Col de Pailheres

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and its residents

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Local produce at the market at Foix

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Chateau de Foix with a hint of the blue sky that would soon clear those clouds

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Castle walls

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Walls within walls

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Le Grand Cafe Gros in Foix dating back to 1876 – and grandly displaying the award confirming its Diplome D’Honneur un cafes historiques Europeens –

would have been rude not to have a drink here

 

With a late flight out of Toulouse on Wednesday we had time in hand to head back up to the Col de Pailheres to enjoy the final views in perfect conditions.

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Another magnet for cyclists having been part of the Tour de France many times

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A helping hand – nearly there

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The road down to Querigut – rather them than me

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Down they go

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and there they are on the way down

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Not time to get up to the top – so much to go back for Smile

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