At Eaux Bonnes.
The Park At Eaux Bonnes.
The springs of Eaux Bonnes are considered wonderfully beneficial for pulmonary and spinal complaints; but as our lungs were sound and our backbones unyielding, we did not try the waters. Moreover, there was little inducement to do so, when we read the statement: "Evil consequences have arisen from a stranger's taking even a glassful to taste; and it is usual to begin with a table-spoonful and a half." However, one should not, for a moment, imagine that the attractions of Eaux Bonnes are limited by its extremely circumscribed area. Numerous "promenades" have been laid out in the adjoining forests, leading to waterfalls or charming points of view, and these, when not made horizontal, wind up the wooded cliffs in easy curves. For those who find even such ascents too difficult, a singular little donkey carriage is provided, which bears the comical name of vin-aigrette. These tiny vehicles hold but one person, and in that respect suggest the car-iole of Norway. The Pyrenean chaise is, however, as much more diminutive than the cariole, as the donkey is smaller than a Norwegian pony. Nevertheless, ridiculous as they at first appear, the tourist in the Pyrenees soon learns to like these vinaigrettes, and often hires them to attend him on his walks, that he may use them if he feels fatigued.
A Street In Eaux Bonnes.
Eaux Bonnes And The Pic De Ger.
A Cascade Near Eaux Bonnes.
A Pyrenean Valley.
Of larger equipages, too,there is no lack here though where theownersmanage to store them is a mystery), and drives in the vicinity are varied and delightful. The glorious feature of Eaux Bonnes is, however, the famous Pic de Ger, more than eight thousand feet in height, whose lordly summit forms the background of the place, and in the glow of sunset towers above the darkened village like the funeral pyre of some old Scandinavian demigod.
A Pyrenean Road.
In order to go from one Pyrenean valley to its parallel neighbor, it is not always necessary to drive down to the plain, and having, as it were, "doubled the cape," ascend the next great mountain gorge; for some of the dividing ridges can be crossed in carriages by a magnificent road, fully a hundred miles in length, constructed by Napoleon III. The reign of Louis Napoleon, however disastrous its ending, was not without much practical benefit to France. Not only did he make Paris the most beautiful city in the world; but here, five hundred miles away from it, along the southern boundary of his empire, he accomplished marvels in opening up and rendering accessible to travelers the Alps of France. The people of the Pyrenees are, therefore, grateful to him, and well they may be, since he contributed so much to their prosperity.
The Bridge Built By Napoleon III At St. Sauveur.
Again and again upon these drives we grew enthusiastic in our admiration of the splendid roads on which our carriage rolled, protected by stout parapets, upheld by arches, sheltered by tunnels, carried across deep chasms by enormous viaducts, constructed serpent-like along the face of cliffs which to the unprofessional traveler would seem impassable, and yet so gradually sloped that horses can ascend on them to altitudes of several thousand feet without undue fatigue, and trot with safety down the steepest mountain side.
One of the most conspicuous works accomplished here by Napoleon III is the marble bridge at St. Sauveur, of which indeed he laid the first stone in 1860. This splendid specimen of engineering skill connects the opposite sides of a ravine in one great arch, and with a span of one hundred and fifty feet. Two hundred and eighteen feet below it the river seems to dwindle to a silver thread.