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Château of Montségur
[Midi-Pyrénées visit continued from Part 3]

The ruined Château of Montségur, a short drive to the south of Lavalenet (see map) and a long steep climb from here for the determined. Last refuge of the Cathars, people of a religion diametrically opposed to the Catholic church, persecuted and burnt alive when taken, which happened here in 1244

The "easy" bit of the climb, near the top. My spouse bounded up like a gazelle. I learnt that even with a temperature of 13ºC, 56ºF, you need to take water on this climb... no refreshments or facilities of any sort at the top...

... all such things are in the village of Montségur, a LONG way below (telephoto lens!)

The path around the back of the Chateau is a little frightening, with very steep drops below. An English couple let their toddler run along this path ahead of them... yikes! No safety barriers, as generally when it comes to precipitous footpaths the French believe in Natural Selection...

A whole village was built here, by people obviously related to mountain goats!

Should you ever walk down here, please note that identical-looking balks of timber are used (a) for forming the edge of steps in particularly steep places and (b) for edging the twisting path (flush with the ground) where there is a long drop below. Useful to tell these apart!

Some nice views lower down...

[A GoogleMap of this area will be found here]

[Midi-Pyrénées visit continues in Part 5]