St. Hilaire - Lagrasse: A glorious ride and another abbey - France: Between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees - CycleBlaze

August 28, 2007

St. Hilaire - Lagrasse: A glorious ride and another abbey

We have a wonderful small road, fantastic scenery and no traffic for the gradual 20 kilometer climb to 425 meters before we descend to Lagrasse, with views of the Pyrenees all the way.

A slow climb into the hills
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Reached the top
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Descent
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Before we reach Lagrasse, we pass through a scenic canyon or "gorge"
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Lagrasse is a lovely medieval town with cobbled streets, an old market hall and a 12th century bridge across the Orbieu River. Our first reaction, however, is not enthusiastic. The charms of Lagrasse are lost on us. We neglected to buy anything for a picnic and are hungry and thirsty. It is noon, terribly hot and the shops have already closed for midday.

Bridge over the Orbieu to Lagrasse
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Fortunately after a bit of scouting, we do find a place to eat. With a rest and our basic animal needs satisfied, we are ready to appreciate what Lagrasse has to offer. We make our way to the Benedictine abbey, founded by Charlemagne in the 9th century, and have a look at the town. All worth visiting.

Cloister, Abbey of Lagrasse
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In the late afternoon we ride up to the campground, located on a hill outside of town, and choose our site carefully. We have yet to put our little tent to the rain test and fat rain clouds are gathering. We would not like to wake up in a puddle.

View of Lagrasse from the road leading to the campground
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