Saturday, June 22, 2013

St Beat and Spain

Following our stay in the Cotswolds we had a day back in Bristol where we caught up with family before flying down to Toulouse and driving south to the Pyrenees.

We spent our first two nights in a simply super Chambres d'hôte in Saint-Beat, a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in south western France. The Pic du Gar is a striking limestone mountain in the area. Ron, our charming host could not have been more welcoming or helpful during our stay. We enjoyed good conversation and a couple of delicious dinners.

You can find out more about the accommodation and location here:

Le Chapeau Bleu is very close to the Spanish border so our first day we drove 
through the Aran Valley headed to the the tiny village of Arties. 

Arties is at 1,114 metres above sea level and is in a small opening in the High Arán Valley. It is dominated by the Montarto peak, which reaches almost 3,000 metres. Outstanding in the old part is the Santa María Parish Church, a Romanesque construction from the 11th-12th centuries.

After a pleasant stroll around Arties (with a local dog acting as tour guide!), we made our way back stopping at Bossost for tapas and beers.

Bossost is a small Pyrenean village also located within the Aran Valley. The scenery en route is quite special with mountains and the Garone river hugging the road for most of the return journey to Saint-Beat.

Since drafting this post we have found out that this week the 400 inhabitants of St Beat had to evacuated as the river burst its banks flooding the tiny village of St Beat - the consequences have been devastating and our thoughts are with all those who live and work in the area.

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