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A Midsummer Drive Through the Pyrenees
written by "Dix, Edwin Asa, 1860-1911"
...ad crosses the valley, under the sentinel poplars, leaves on the right the road by which we came in from Pierrefitte, and shortly comes to the opening of the defile to Gavarnie. At the immediate entrance across the ravine stands the white street of hotels and lodging-houses which constitutes the Baths of St. Sauveur. We shall cross to it on our return, and now scan it only from the distance as we pass. It joins itself to our highway by a superb bridge, over two hundred feet above the chasm,—a single astonishing arch, one of the longest in existence, its span being 153 feet across, and its total length 218. It is of marble, a gift of Louis Napoleon and Eugénie to commemorate their stay at St. Sauveur; its cost was upward of sixty thousand dollars. From this on, the scenery becomes again increasingly wild. The gorge now opens and now narrows, the mountains above us here approach over the road, there draw back in a long, sweeping glacis of wood or pasture. The ledge of the road is at times four hundred feet above the frothy watercourse, which in some spots disappears entirely from sight in the chasm. Tiny mills are seen standing tremulously near its fierce supply, and there is room for a hamlet here and there, sheltered in a clump of ash or sycamore, on the mountain or at a widening of the valley. When the road nears the cliffs of Gavarnie, it will expire, from the simple impossibility of proceeding farther; so it is scarcely a thoroughfare, and we meet only infrequent bucolics or a few wood-carts coming down toward Luz. One fair-sized rustic village is passed through; and, two hours after the start, a second one, Gèdre, our more-than-half-way house, is finally seen ahead. The mountain wall we are approaching begins now to show its battlements, far ahead. The snowy Tours de Marboré overtop it, and at their right can be plainly seen two small, rectangular nicks, embrasures in this mammoth parapet. Small they see...

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