In early May, 2008 I had the pleasure of visiting the "motherland" of all Great Pyrenees dogs, that is the Pyrenees Mountains of Europe. Here
are a few photos from that trip.
On the left is a photo from Ordessa National Park in the Pyrenees Mountains taken from a park road along the bottom of a steep valley.
The next photo is from an alpine pasture where a band of sheep historically grazed. Unfortunately, the old shepherd from this area died in 2008
and it is unlikely that sheep will return. This is a sad situation as --just like in America-- young people are increasingly abandoning
the family farms in favor of a more appealing urban lifestyle.
These photos were taken at Aensa Castle which was built during the crusades. This is a very interesting castle as there are several restaurants
within the castle walls. One of which served us a fine lunch during our stay.
Click any of the thumbnails for a high-resolution photograph.
Along the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, pastoral scenes such as the one on the left are quite common. Indeed, not far from where this photo
was taken we stopped while a shepherd moved his flock across the road. I later learned that the sheep traditionally where bells which peacefully and melodically ring as they forage. These are not
metallic sounding bells but deeper sounding and their ringing is slow...as slow as your resting heartbeat.
The two right-most photos were taken at high alpine pastures. The earth in the foreground appears rather worn...this is not from sheep but from the increasingly
common wild boar which is seeking tubers, roots and other edibles. You may also notice what looks like blackened stems throughout the foreground. These are
the stems of Crocus flower which in a few weeks time will bloom in various shades of violet and creams throughout this valley. The Crocus is of course
the source of Saffron and Spain is famous for it.
The following photos were taken in Zaragoza, a city along Spain's Ebro river which flows out of the Pyrenees Mountains. This is the 'Chapel of the Innumerable Martyrs' as
translated from Spanish.