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Pic du Midi

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Robert Marshall's picture
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Pic du Midi

Hi all,
Looking for a bit of advice.

I'm hoping to take about a weeks holiday, later this year, all being well, to pay a visit to the Pic du Midi observatory. I don't wish to fly, and would much prefer to take the journey by either coach or train. Has anybody else in the Association attempted to do anything like this, and if so, what went well, and what didn't? I'm budgeting for around the £1k mark, as it would just be myself. Any tips, suggestions or pointers would be most helpful. I'm thinking of late September, as I want there to be snow!

Thanks in advance!

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piu du midi

Hello Robert  If  you can  find a contact number  for Daiman Peach he may be able to help as  he wrote an article published in  I think it was astronomy now  a few months ago..  He was  describing how he and a team went to the Observatory to take high resolution pictures of the Planets.  Hope this  helps. 

Neil Morrison

Robert Marshall's picture
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Thank you Neil. I will look

Thank you Neil. I will look into that angle.

Len Entwisle's picture
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Pic du Midi

A Google search with these parameters 'pic du midi ciel et espace by rail and coaches' will give you plenty of information to get you started. Sadly (with another UK  Yorkshire astronomer) we missed out on addition to IOTA-ES occultation conference in Spain that took in a visit to the Observatoire. Too long a trip by road for us at the time. Hope your trip comes off.

 

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Cheers Len,I will let you

Cheers Len,
I will let you know how I get on. Obviously it very much hinges on the COVID situation regarding travel.

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I have visited Pic du Midi,

I have visited Pic du Midi, but I took the hard route and went up there by bike! (The Col du Tourmalet is a classic Tour and Vuelta climb :-).

You'll need to get the bus to La Mongie to visit, as this is where the cable car goes from. I think (in normal times) there is a bus from Lourdes or Tarbes to La Mongie, which may suit you as both have SNCF stations. There was talk in summer 2020 about the French Government reintroducing the Paris-Tarbes sleeper service, but this might not happen quite yet, and there is (again in normal times) still the Paris-Toulouse sleeper, and Toulouse-Tarbes/Lourdes via train is a couple of hours.

There is also the Cité de l'Espace in Toulouse which I can recommend as well. 

Robert Marshall's picture
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Thanks Graeme, that is very

Thanks Graeme, that is very helpful indeed! I am hoping of course that I don't have to delay this until next year! Very brave of you to do the climb by bike, you're obviously fitter than me! :)

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No problem - I should have

No problem - I should have said, the TGV may also work if you don't want the overnight. I would probably look to do Paris -> Lourdes/Tarbes direct rather than going via Toulouse - the former is about 5hr, the latter 4h something plus the 2hr back...

Really like the Pyrenees - it's a great part of the world - super food, mountains, cycling, walking, places to visit etc (though personally I'd get in and out of Lourdes as quickly as I could...)   

Robert Marshall's picture
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Lourdes too touristy?

Lourdes too touristy?

GraemeCoates's picture
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Well, yep - touristy; if you

Well, yep - touristy; if you're not into the religious aspects, which is the main reason why so many people visit each year, there's so many better places to go nearby.