In one of the smallest and poorest department of France, there are Cathar castles on rocky cliffs, mountain villages that have been lost for centuries, and caves that housed early civilizations and provided protection to groups fleeing religious persecution. This photo is from where the GR-10 trail cuts through the Pyrenees, not far from Andorra. Below the mountains there are extensive farmlands and thermal springs, one of which is about a hundred yards from the entrance to the funicular/ski lift that goes to Ax.

Ariege is beautiful.