Saturday, February 20, 2010



Cross the mountains following in the direction of the east, then walk NW. At the top of one these mountains rises a fortress where Brida discovers her past incarnation.

Your image at this fortress is the eighth test.

This was another fairly easy test as the only experience Brida has outside Ireland is in Montsegur. We travelled from Montserrat around lunch time and arrived around 4.45 as the sun was starting to dip behind the Pyrenees. So we climbed up knowing we would be slightly late to arrive at a house 70km away with direction somewhere screwed up in the bottom of the car!! Still we walked up the mountain telling each other it would take 10 minutes up and 10 minutes down and we would be on our way knowing it was more like an hour!

It took us 10 minute just to catch our breathes and the catch the view!


Montsegur has almost a cult following, attracting Cathar history enthusiasts, hikers and lovers of charming small French villages. While its magical allure has been relatively undiscovered by Americans, this tiny Midi-Pyrenees village is simply oozing with atmosphere. It is located in France's Midi-Pyrenees region (and the lovely Ari├Ęge Pyrenees department) on the edge of Cathar Country. Montsegur Chateau is arguably the most significant monument to the Cathar religious sect. The Cathars believed in a natural, humble lifestyle and criticized the Catholic church relentlessly. It is in the Montsegur castle ruins that hundreds of Cathars held off Crusaders for months. When they were finally conquered, they were given the choice to renounce their religion or walk into the flames. Most chose a fiery death.

As you approach Montsegur, Mount Pog will appear between mountain peaks. Topped by the Chateau Montsegur, Mount Pog is a popular hiking spot for Europeans. While it doesn't take long to climb, it is challenging. It takes about 20-30 minutes each way, but they are a long 20-30 minutes. The aspects that make the climb difficult are precisely the secrets to the Cathar success in holding off Crusaders for so long. Today, there are wood planks to make the climb easier. Legend has it that local villagers snuck food and supplies up to the Cathars by climbing the mazelike pathways, as the Crusaders remained frustrated at the mountain's base.

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