A day at the Pic du Midi
A breathtaking mountain panorama.
Viewing the Earth from the heavens
My family has arrived from Spain to stay in the Pyrenees. Of course, the first site that I take them to visit is both iconic and unmissable, it stands apart from the mountain range, and is easy to spot thanks to its antenna: the Pic du Midi. It is a gorgeous day when we head to La Mongie. The Pic du Midi appears as we turn the bend, getting more imposing the closer we get.
The spectacular ascent by cable car is split into two stages. In 15 minutes, we are transported to the summit at an altitude of 2,877 m.
We sit next to the cabin’s glass walls to fully appreciate the view. Passing a pylon that swings the cabin, we are treated to our first little adrenaline rush. Some of us (myself included) can’t help but go “ooh” in shock.
The cabin that transports us to the second section takes us on a magical journey with nothing but air below us. Hanging in mid-air between the sky and the ground, the summit approaches like a ship viewing the Earth from the heavens.
A stunning view
Upon arrival at the summit, the laid-out panoramic terraces provide a stunning view of the Pyrenees mountain range. Wow! We drink it in! It is a very clear and bright morning and direct sunlight shines on the summits which are still slightly covered with snow, highlighting the beauty of the mountain relief!
We identify the summits and lakes using the orientation tables. The Brèche de Roland cleanly cuts through the mountains, the Mont Perdu stands high above the other peaks, and at the foot of the peak lies the Lac d’Oncet.
Today, Jean-Phi is our really enthusiastic guide. He helps us to discover the Pyrenees environment. We linger to listen to his explanations, which he makes interesting and fun through humour. We take full advantage of the terraces and of course the pontoon in the sky on the north side of the Pic: it is the highlight of the visit.
Hanging above the void, we walk along the walkway, with a slab of glass and a 1,000 m drop under our feet. Thrills guaranteed!!!
The void truly takes pride of place at the Pic. And we are lucky enough to get some great family selfies on this beautiful walkway.
Discovering the Experimentation Area and the Planetarium
Next, we head to the Experimentation Area to explore the fun and interactive exhibition.
Here you can discover the research topics covered at the Pic including the Sun, cosmic rays and the stars… Everything that makes the Pic du Midi a renowned and exceptional astronomical observation area.
We had booked the “Navigateur du ciel” (Navigator of Outer Space) planetarium show online. Beneath a dome, comfortably sat on reclining armchairs, we watch as the planetarium unveils the universe’s greatest secrets.
Using the Histopads we were given when we arrived, we can also explore the history of the Pic. It is really well done.
A gorgeous setting
It is now time to eat; we have chosen the “2877” restaurant. The food is excellent, and the setting gorgeous, facing the Pyrenees!
We have chosen different dishes so, we get to try a range of foods including deer steak, Porc Noir pork rib, foie gras and monkfish. The prices are very affordable. We round off our visit with a coffee on the terrace, sat on the sun loungers so we can continue to enjoy the magic of the Pic du Midi.
There was no shortage of magic during this family day out. My family and I had an unforgettable day thanks to the magnificent 360° landscapes, snow-capped peaks, activities, entertainment, all the people, the smiles and the great advice, …among other things! And the sun was an added bonus for our fabulous day at the Pic du Midi!
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