November 25, 2013

Mont Canigou, alt. 2785m - in South of France

Today was a fine opportunity to have a photo of the Majestetic mountain Canigou down here in South of France. As you can see the first snow is already in place and it is reported from the ski-resort Les Angles that they are ready to open the skilifts and start the ski season. This photo is shot on the road between Elne and Thuir.

Some info from the net:
The Canigou, el. 2,784.66 m. Is a mountain located in the Pyrenees of southern France.
Due to its sharp flanks and its dramatic location close to the coast, until the 18th century the Canigou was believed to be the highest mountain in the Pyrenees.

Spectacular jeep tracks on the north side of the massif lead to the Chalet de Cortalets (at 2150 m.) which is a popular outpost for walkers.
There are two ancient monasteries at the foot of the mountain, Martin-du-Canigou and Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa.

This mountain has symbolical significance for Catalan people. On its summit there is a cross that is often decorated with the Catalan flag. Every year on 23 June, the night before St. John's day (nit de Sant Joan), there is a ceremony called Flama del Canigó (Canigou Flame), where a fire is lit at the mountaintop. People keep a vigil during the night and take torches lit on that fire in a spectacular torch relay to light bonfires somewhere else.Some estimates conclude that about 30,000 bonfires are lit in this way all over Catalonia on that night.

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