Donjon des Aigles - Castle of Eagles
Juliet’s Log: Sunday 8th No real plans for the day but as it is supposed to be low cloud we decided not to go to the mountains. Roger was keen to see the show at the Donjons des Aigles but this didn’t state until 3.30. So after lunch we drove to St Savin a small village with a large Abbey up the hill behind the campsite. The Abbey had originally been the administration centre/owner of the whole Lavedan valley. It was open and huge for a tiny but very pretty village with large open main street and square with some timber framed houses. It was quite an unexpected find. We drove on to another Chappelle we could see on the next hill but this one was shut but had good views down the whole valley.
We arrived at the Chateau used for the bird of prey display about 30 mins. before it started. This gave us time to look around the ruins which were home to tethered birds from all over the world in every nook and cranny. The location was used to superb advantage all through the display. At a price of €13 each and low expectations we were completely astounded at the quality and professionalism of the show. Initially, the largest birds with enormous wingspans were flying from one trainer to another, around the chateau, close over the audience and returned. This was followed by an hour of display using hundreds of birds, often 50 or more flying over and being controlled at a time; coming very close over the onlookers. Finally, flocks of parrots and parakeets flew in and around the people landing on baskets of food held high, on heads and hands etc. All birds returned to the chateau at the ring of a bell at the end of the spectacle. We’d never seen anything like it. It was very impressive. And a good photo opportunity.
-For more see www.donjon-des-aigles.com/anglais/index.html
-The castle of Beaucens, in the Hautes Pyrénées, houses one of the most prestigous collections of birds of prey : Kites, Vultures, Eagles, Fish Eagles, Falcons and Buzzards with Parrots in the summer.