Friday, 21 September 2012

The Lake of Bethmale, Ariège-Pyrénees

The Couserans region of Ariège is a wild tumble of mountains, high meadows, lakes, streams and waterfalls. The Lac de Bethmale is especially beautiful because of the incredible blue-green colour of the water.
According to legend, a wicked witch lived by the lake and she caused endless mischief and misery for the local peasants. One day, they took their pitchforks and surrounded her. Seeing there was no escape, the witch jumped into the lake, shouting that she would never really vanish. It is her cloak, on the lake bottom, that gives the water its unusual colour.

The traditional costume of the people in the Vallée de Bethmale is completely different from anything else in the region. The wooden sabots with their enormous upturned toes have a special significance. The young man has to have the strength to pull two branches from a beech tree from which to make a pair of clogs. So - the longer the toes, the stronger the man and the better chance he has of getting a bride.

                               Image result for lac de bethmale dances


  1. Beth, I've tried to comment before and because I am on it can be a here goes, fingers crossed. Loved the descriptions and photos of The Lake of Bethmale, wonderful. Love the tale as well. You are so fortunate to get to these wonderful places, and your writing makes it all come alive so clearly....I will have to pop in your suitcase next visit.

  2. You'd be very welcome. My french friend [Lucie Rochelle], who is always ready for an adventure or an expedition, helps me to find suitable chateaux and sites for my stories. we both love the Pyrenees and fortunately, that region is exactly right for the setting for my next two stories.

    Thank you for your kind comments. I hope you can get to visit these picturesque spots. It's not very far away. nearest airport Toulouse, then about an hour's drive south from there.

  3. As expected Beth, wonderful photos and descriptions....I pop back now and again just to have a little read, a look at the photos and a big sigh! Thanks.

  4. Thank you, Jane, for your warm words. It is a very atmospheric place, I agree. I'll put some more photos up for you to enjoy - but you're the one with the artisitic eye, so I hope they won't disappoint...