Just a few hundredths kilometres further south in the Pyrenees there are some more painted caves open for visitors.
The most famous one is the cave of Niaux which I did visit first. Again there were a lot of tourists. You have to enter the mountain for over 800 metres trough huge caves with a lot of graffiti from several centuries.
Again this cave feel friendly to human beings. The drawings are mostly in black, very detailed and amazingly different in style then those I have seen before. The outlines are drown, no painting or colouring inside the figure only some signs drawn. The space is round with an excellent echo. It is easy to imagine a kind of celebrations there. I see circles in red laughing faces. I feel a strong masculine presence although some people say that the paintings might have been made by women. And they did find fosilized footprints of 2 children of 8 and 11 years old.
The ambiance of the Pyrenees is hugely different from the Dordogne. You feel strongly that nature is still wild here and humans have to be humble.
It takes some time to adapt and to get into appreciating and enjoying it. The air already has the smell of autumn., mornings and evenings are fresh, spiders enter the houses, walnuts and hazelnuts are already falling. When everything is grey and rainy you feel the grimness of nature. It attracts a different kind of people and a lot of people want to move away, a lot of houses are for sale. It makes me reflect further on my romantic passion for wild nature and on how far I would be able to adapt and deal with the wildness. There are people who share my passion, people from the countries in the Northwest of Europe. They buy houses and move to this place, to live in nature, to go for long walks, enjoy the wide views and listen to the water streams coming down everywhere.