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La Mere Bauche by Anthony Trollope
page 1 of 45 (02%)
from "Tales from All Countries"

The Pyreneean valley in which the baths of Vernet are situated is not
much known to English, or indeed to any travellers. Tourists in
search of good hotels and picturesque beauty combined, do not
generally extend their journeys to the Eastern Pyrenees. They rarely
get beyond Luchon; and in this they are right, as they thus end their
peregrinations at the most lovely spot among these mountains, and are
as a rule so deceived, imposed on, and bewildered by guides,
innkeepers, and horse-owners, at this otherwise delightful place, as
to become undesirous of further travel. Nor do invalids from distant
parts frequent Vernet. People of fashion go to the Eaux Bonnes and
to Luchon, and people who are really ill to Bareges and Cauterets.
It is at these places that one meets crowds of Parisians, and the
daughters and wives of rich merchants from Bordeaux, with an
admixture, now by no means inconsiderable, of Englishmen and
Englishwomen. But the Eastern Pyrenees are still unfrequented. And
probably they will remain so; for though there are among them lovely
valleys--and of all such the valley of Vernet is perhaps the most
lovely--they cannot compete with the mountain scenery of other
tourists-loved regions in Europe. At the Port de Venasquez and the
Breche de Roland in the Western Pyrenees, or rather, to speak more
truly, at spots in the close vicinity of these famous mountain
entrances from France into Spain, one can make comparisons with
Switzerland, Northern Italy, the Tyrol, and Ireland, which will not
be injurious to the scenes then under view. But among the eastern
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