Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park

The Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, in the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, was instituted in 1918, being the first national park in Spain and one of the older of all Europe. Today, this protected area is included in the Pyrénées – Mont Perdu World Heritage Site together with the Pyrénées Occidentales National Park on the French side. Since 1997 it also belongs to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Ordesa-Viñamala. The scenario of the National Park is dominated by some of the most typical glacial formations, like the cirques, and by the canyons made by the never-ending flowing of the streams on the limestone. Here, hikers and naturalists have the great opportunity to enjoy a spectacular view of raging waterfalls and vertiginous cliffs, crossing black pine and beech woodlands up to the high-altitude pastures. Within the park borders visitors can also enjoy to see some rare and fascinating mountain species.

Besides of golden eagles (Aquila crysaetos), bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) and pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica), which are a common view, there are some small animals usually going unnoticed by visitors, but even much more unique: in fact, Pyrenees are home of some endemic amphibians and reptiles as the Pyrenean frog (Rana pyrenaica), the Pyrenean brook salamander (Calotriton asper) and the Pyrenean rock lizard (Iberolacerta bonnali), which are the authentic treasures of these breathtaking cliffs.

Many thanks to Salvador Carranza and all the people of the Don Simon Drinking Team for their lovely company and patience while waiting for my endless photo sessions and snail’s pace walking.