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Phespirit goes to France
French Pyrenees     June/July 2003


Map of France

1 Ax-les-Thermes

An old town, typical of the region, average in size, built around hot springs whose waters are piped into an outdoor foot-bathing pool.

Once the novelty of the springs has worn off there is precious little else of interest here, so Phespirit didn't hang around too long.

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2 Foix

What Foix has to offer:

  • A distinctive château with three high towers dominating the whole town and its surrounding valleys;

  • A modest 14th century church, Eglise de St-Volusien, now benefiting from a touch of restoration;

  • A handful of warped wooden-beamed buildings hiding in the narrowest lanes of the mediæval centre;

..... plus an uncomplicated street market and the River Ariège.

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3 Villefranche de Conflent

A small walled town at one end of the little yellow train line.

Villefranche de Conflent is surrounded by huge defensive ramparts protecting two main parallel streets, a large musty church, several little craftshops, and some interesting alleyways and archways.

This is the pick of the French Pyrenees towns.

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4 Mont-Louis

A walled town on the little yellow train line, but not as compact or aesthetically pleasing as Villefranche de Conflent.

Phespirit bought Asses Milk soap and Fruits des Bois jam here.

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5 Llivia

Phespirit did not stop Llivia, but mentions it here for the novelty of it being a Spanish enclave entirely within the borders of France.

It only takes a couple of minutes to drive through.

International border protocols are no longer enforced.

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  1. Ax-les-Thermes
  2. Foix
  3. Villefranche de Conflent
  4. Mont-Louis
  5. Llivia
images 1
Ax-les-Thermes Foix Villefranche de Conflent Mont-Louis Llivia