The threshold of a green paradise
The strength of history and the earth meet in Bearn and Navarre, at the foothills of the Pyrenees, for an ascent to the sky and the stars.
What a colourful painting! In this part of the southwest, along the Pyrenees mountain chain, everything starts with an accent that is hot and rough at the same time. This music comes down from the mountains, spoken by shepherds and peasants. It is grounded in the earth, with its eyes open to the sky. While visiting Pau, Tarbes, and Lourdes, you will find yourself in a golden triangle of hospitality, exemplified by a return to nature and a certain spirit, or rather a spirit that is certain.
Bearn and Navarre are historical lands charged with the blood of their great historical past. The knight Gaston Phoebus, King Henry IV, and also D'Artagnan of the Three Musketeers are all from here. Their humanity permeates the Bearn and Navarre. If you come here once, you will return, as it is impossible to resist this rustically beautiful mountainous region.
By climbing, the legs get lighter, finding again a taste for the effort of walking, because then comes comfort. From the Lescar medieval town to the glorious fortified castle overlooking Lourdes and its sanctuary (the most important destination for Christian pilgrims), from the Cirque de Gavarnie to the Pic du Midi, which raw beauty attracts tourists from all over the world, the region is replete with sights more canonical than the next.
A cabbage soup, a chicken in a pot, and a pitcher of Jurançon. The mountain is impressive but not intimidating, it is neither spectacular nor inhospitable, just wild. It does not separate France and Spain; it brings them together through solidarity, a rustic sensitivity mountain people share, subjected to the harsh peaks. Their winds blow down the valley, breathing on a plain just waiting to receive, in order to give even more.