The Pyrenees provide magnificent waking and hiking opportunities as well as immense beauty. We were fortunate enough to be able to visist two national parks up here in the Spanish Pyrenees. The first one located in Catalunya called Parc National d'Aiguestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici (yes very long name). Located in the north west this area offers jewel like lakes and dramatic peaks.
We arrived in the morning as the mist and clouds were lifting unveiling this fantastic landscape of lakes and peaks to us. We arrived early enough so that we still were among the first ones to enter the park. During the peak visitng months private vehicles are not permitted into the park and instead there are Jeep-Taxis that offer transport from both main gate villages of Espot and Boi.It seems like a good thing to do to shut of the national parks from private vehicles during the peak visiting months of the year. This was also the same case in the second national park that we visted.
Catalynas only national park is not very large extending about 20 km east to west and 9 km from north to south but still it packs more beauty than most areas that are 100 times its size.
The dramatic and beautiful landscape is much due to glacial action over the course of two million years. The park is made up of two east-west valleys at 1600 and 2000 m altitude lined by peaks reaching up to 2900 meters.
So beautiful with both cascading waterfalls and parts of Birch forrest. The landscape offerd so much variaty. In the Birch forrest I felt like I was suddenly somewhere in northern Scandinavia.
There are countless both larger and smaller lakes as well as waterfalls that makes this wilderness into pure beauty. Crystal clear lakes and dramatic peaks that just knock your breath away.
Vallys with flowing gentle springs. It is easy to find a perfect picknnick spot with a great view.
We made a nice hike on one of the trails of about 4 hours.
You keep climbing higher and higher and suddenly you are rewarded by a pretty little lake showing up like this one.
Here among the peaks of the Pyrenees are mountain stations were you can spend the night if you are doing longer hikes. However, booking and making a reservation is recomended to do well in advance. These mountain lodges offer a bed with a matress. You need to bring your own sleeping bag. You get to sleep in a big room shared by about 15 to 20 people all sleeping in the same room. A warm meal is included in the price that is cooked by the people running the lodge. They were cutting up veggies and sausage as we took a peak inside.
We hiked up to the mountain station that was located at 2380 meters.
Naturally the Pyrenees are very popular for a number of sports besides hiking such as climbing. Nothing for me tough as I am kind of afraid of heights.
Comfy room with a pretty view, plenty of fresh mountain air and the sound of the flowing river outside our hotelroom. At this time of the year no AC is needed the cool mountain air takes care of that. Sleeping with a crack of the window open was perfect.
Pretty nice view to wake up to.