Winter Break in the Pyrenees

Winter Break in the Pyrenees

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:

  1. I shouldn’t let fear take over my trips, cause then I wouldn’t enjoy.
  2. 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. 😉

Love, J.


A brave soul looking for (mis)adventures, which are out of my comfort zone. Other hobbies include but not limited to: shower concerts, dancing in the kitchen, playing dead in a film and being a busy potato.

3 thoughts on “Winter Break in the Pyrenees

  1. its true, sometimes we end up in places where we think of some image in our mind but then the reality is different from what we have prepared for but i am glad that you would have enjoyed something else which otherwise you would not have attempted

  2. Awww, so sorry to read you weren’t able to ski. Gear rentals can be quite expensive I understand, and being alone by yourself can lead to a feeling of overflowing self-consciousness. I myself forewent skiing in Manitoba because we’d ski here in Vancouver anyway. I can’t afford to ski twice. Haha. Besides, I’d rather prefer hiking. 🙂

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