My Favourite Place


I discovered the Ariège region in the Pyrenees 15 years ago. My wife’s family is from there, I didn’t know the area, which was pretty much deserted from the 1920s onwards.


Our village is named Augirein, there are 70 inhabitants in that village. Now you must imagine that in the 1900s they were over 1,000 over there. 36761290843_030227d6fb_k

Besides, none of these trees existed by then. The whole area was covered with fields and pastures. And mines (iron, slates, tin…). Hard to believe I know, but it’s the plain truth.


No tourists out there, there are all stuck either West of this region or East piling up in traffic jams while all wanting to see the same things. They are wrong, but don’t tell them. I’m perfectly alright when I ride my bike uphill  like here at Herbe Soulette (a weird name, I suppose the pastures up there were making animals a little drunk). At the end of that climb we are at 1,600 m high. A huge 1,000+ climb all the way from the village down in the valley.


A room with a view. 2,000 m high.


A few more dozens of miles and you reach the summits at 2,800 m (Mont Valier). One cannot see it from here, but we can imagine it can’t we?


Nothing but vultures up there, a bit like business, we’re used to them. More gorgeous views and beautiful skies as in the City though.


Our little hamlet at night. There are two parts, the upper part of the village is where we are and there are precious few people up there. Exactly why this is our favourite place. No one around. At all. Apart from a few friends of course.


Morning dew. Our garden in the wee hours of the morning.


Pure air, nature, wild open spaces and no signal. You are on your own up there. Now you know why it’s our favourite spot.

Yann Gourvennec
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  1. What a gorgeous place! I love how different many of your images are, and yet together they paint a singular image of peace and quiet. I can easily see how it would be a favorite place!

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