Winter in Bordeaux is not (exactly) the same in Paris. There’s more rain than snow, which is non-existent in this region. Although I have a love-hate relationship with the cold weather, I’ve always wanted to play with snow. I want to know how it feels to hold a ball of snow in my hands. Fortunately, the nearest snow mountain is in the Pyrenees.
I took a two-hour train ride to a little town called Lourdes and stayed for two-nights in a hostel. I bought a day-pass to Cirque du Lys which includes a round trip bus-ride from Lourdes to Cauterets, and an entry pass to Cirque du Lys. But my trip to Cauterets wasn’t an easy one.
The bus was scheduled to leave at 8 in the morning and I arrived at the station 20 minutes before. When I noticed everyone was wearing ski suits and carrying their ski gears, my brain went into a tiny panic mode and increased a little bit when I saw a couple who was in a deep conversation with the driver, something about reloading their card online. I wouldn’t know exactly since I could barely hear their conversation and my french was, and is still, limited. I asked a random stranger, who thankfully speaks a little english, for assistance and be the translator between me and the driver.
The driver gave me a card which served as my entry pass to Cirque du Lys and I can use the same card the next time I visit Cauterets. The bus ride took about an hour or so. When we arrived at the station, I had no idea what I was supposed to do nor where to go. I just followed where the crowd went. Since I wasn’t sure what I was doing, I stayed in one spot and observe the people for a while. I felt self-conscious, at that time, because first of all, I was standing at a corner of a street, staring at people and second, I wasn’t wearing any ski suit and I don’t have any gears.
I panicked again when I saw everyone coming out of different renting stores with gears and suits, and going up to hill to take the cable car. I thought of gearing up but then I realized it would have been expensive to rent. It took me half an hour to get the courage to go up the hill where I found the entrance to the cable cars, which would take me to Cirque du Lys. The ride takes about 15 – 30 minutes, depending if there are no problems. When I reached the top, I was in awe to see a mountain full of snow.
The reception building has a café, a restaurant and different ski school offices. They also have a deck, where you can relax which have an awesome view of the snow mountain. It was also the same time where I realized what I’ve done and how bad my idea was. There is literally nothing else to do in the mountain besides skiing or snowboarding.
I was too self-conscious the whole time. I didn’t know what to do exactly. I chilled on the deck for a while, soaking up the sun, then walked in the snow before getting breakfast.
I didn’t stay long. I didn’t even get the chance to make a snowball. I envied the skiers and the snowboarders and the kids who were rolling around the snow. I got too self-conscious that it freaked me out and made me leave. I got back in my hostel around noon and the whole thing made me realize a two things:
- I shouldn’t let fear take over my trips, cause then I wouldn’t enjoy.
- I need to do a more thorough research and know exactly what I want to get out of my trip. I was too ignorant, that I didn’t realize what I was exactly doing.
For the rest of my trip, I just went around the small town of Lourdes. At least, I did other things and enjoyed my short break. 😉