It’s incredibly hot. The pavement radiates heat and the lack of trees mean you’re in direct sun most of the time. September back in England is a time for cardigans, not sun cream, and you’re struggling to make it up the steep pavement to the top of the village.
To avoid paying for a taxi, you all split into two groups and hitchhiked the 28km to St Lizier- and (curse my luck) the group you weren’t in were picked up first and arrived an hour before you.
They occupied themselves with the little museum (entry €4) in the Bishops’ palace and rather impressively managed to stretch the twenty minutes of entertainment to a full two hours.
Navigating St Lizier is a bit difficult. The owners of your bed and breakfast have twice tried and failed to penetrate the network of tiny cobbled alleys and they actually live in the area. The lack of signs and people to ask directions from is also unhelpful.
It’s wonderfully pretty though. There’s an art gallery in an old barn, an 18th century pharmacy (still in it’s original state- ask the tourist office about it), a cathedral with a cloister and some 11th century frescos and a very attractive village square with a goldfish fountain in the middle.
There is a bakery on the way up (selling nothing but plain bread), two cafes in the main square (who don’t serve food after a certain time) and a very expensive restaurant next to the museum. Alternatively, there’s an Aldi (exit to the main road at the bottom of the village and turn left towards St Girons), and a McDonalds and a Smart Price supermarket (turn right, away from St Girons) within ten minutes walk.
If you don’t fancy one of the €2 glasses of water from the cafe, there is a drinking fountain in the square below (it’s right in front of the cafe and looks like a green hydrant: turn the top, it’ll make a grinding gurgling noise and then spew potable water). Also there are two public toilets, one of which is probably haunted as you and a friend both said visiting it was a terrifying experience. To this day you are unable to pinpoint why this particular bathroom made you feel so uneasy, but the ghost is by all appearances benign (or was taking a siesta) and you should be okay using it.