Postcard from Bagneres de Luchon, Pyrenees

Weather still treacherous in the Alps, we headed west from Marseille to the Pyrenees, staying in the spa town of Bagnères de Luchon. I stayed there for a couple of nights back in 1988 when I was working on the location crew for London Weekend Television's drama “Wish Me Luck”.

The town has fallen on harder times as the “The cure” is no longer so popular, having been superseded by more recent medical treatments. Also, French society's ways of dealing with older people have changed. The municipal casino has also closed but the town is still well supplied with many excellent boulangeries and patisseries, and we enjoyed an excellent series of evening meals at a small hotel, run by the same family over five generations. The Tour de France arrives and leaves from Luchon once again in 2012, having neglected the town in recent years..

But before I paint too happy a picture, we encountered outright hostility to credit cards and the hotel, which was listed in a reputable red guide and appeared to have excellent feedback online, had superficial room cleaning, no wifi in the room (despite the advertising) and attempted to double-charge us for taxes.