Monday, April 15, 2019

A to Z Merens-Les-Vals

A to Z Challenge Here

In a little tiny village named Mérens-Les-Vals, way up in the Pyrenées mountains, lives a friend-who-is-now-family. Her home is ancient, renovated by her and her former husband, and is blessed with spectacular views upon winding roads. She lives in the “upper” village, not the “lower” and owns a tidy sum of land, some of which she uses to garden. She makes jams, jellies and honey that she sells to hikers, campers and local shops. All organic “Bio” in French, and very tasty.
Poppies in our friend's garden
One of her views from her home

Another view...
Getting our greens from her garden for our salad that evening
Whenever we stay in Mérens-Les-Vals, we hike. There are hot water sulfur springs along side a path high above her home. Too many folks know about them now and they aren’t as they once were, but the springs are still beautiful, clear, and very warm. There are paths winding deep into the mountains with ever increasing spectacular views on all sides of Mérens. If you like to hike, this area is for you.
The hot springs, one of the three pools

The water is so clear...

On the trail with our gracious hostess
Right down from her house is an ancient Romanesque church ruin (10th century) that gives the upper village an antiquated look. Over the hill from her house is a viewpoint referred to as  “Saut Amoureux,” (Lover’s Leap) and yes, there is a legend of lovers who jumped rather than live without one another.
The Romanesque Church ruin

The fields surrounding the village are often dotted with the famous black “Chevaux de Mérens” (Horses of Merens).
Around the other side of the mountain from her home is an old grist mill owned by her former sister-in-law and her husband. It’s been in his family for years and is unique as far as houses go, as a small stream runs directly under it and the grand old mill stones are still in place inside.
This and the following photos are from the trails we walked/hiked

You must pass through Mérens-les-Vals to get to Andorra, a tiny independent country that belongs neither to France nor Spain. It’s known for its ski resorts, no taxes, and cheap gas and goods. Mérens is about a two hour drive from Toulouse, and 2 ½ hours by train.

All photos by Buie-Collard


  1. I don't know this place, but I will go and visit when I will be on this area of the country! Beautiful photos, very peaceful. Enjoy the salads ;)

  2. I so enjoyed reading and viewing this piece. I love France and lived there for many years but not in such a picturesque place as this!

    The Queen of all Mermaids

  3. Wow, looks beyond spectacular!

  4. I am in AWE at the beauty of this place. Wow!

  5. Beautiful walking trails with soothing scenery.
    Very sorry for France today with the destruction of Notre Dame. My prayers are that all remain safe.

  6. Looks like a beautiful place . . . Thanks for the return visit folk dont do that very often on my blog. . .

  7. Wow! Magnificent scenery! And those ruins - oh, I'd SO love to visit there!
    Thanks for sharing this stunning piece of Earth with us.


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