The Pyrenees mountains overshadow the vast surroundings. The trunk of mountains and massifs, the fronds of rocks, where the capacity to perceive can betray us and prevent us from seeing order and limits. Because they are. And the broad vision that geology offers us is the key to being able to call a thing by its name.
Sometimes it is necessary to step back from someone, or someone, in order to be able to see it clearly. Sometimes the trees do not allow us to see the forest and perhaps, in a dangerous parallelism, they do not allow us to see the rocks or the mountains. Let us go far away, and migrate from the Pyrenees, that we may be wiser. We will not lack views and, if you like the plan, the heights of the Sierra de Alcubierre – in Monegro Huesca- we are one of the exceptional boxes.
Then we will see how the plain of Osca is abruptly interrupted by the front of the mountains rising sharply. The mountain makes an object between two corporeal worlds without a transition: the mountain and the plain of the Pyrenees and the Iberian Depression, because the first are the Pyrenees mountains. The south defines the perimeter of the great geological fall, which, in short, constitutes this and any other mountain. And as the reader or reader has already concluded, it is not ‘Pre-Pyrenees’. There is none in the sense of mountains that precede the Pyrenees.
Granted, the landscape between the central Pyrenees and the High Pyrenees is different. It is clear. The mountains are internally as diverse as the city, with historical, residential, industrial estates, green areas, and sports areas. The photograph that accompanies these lines is taken in the Outer Sierras, in the extreme geological unit that geologists distinguish in the mountains. Look at the giant fold that makes up the whole mountain. It arises from a brutal deformation, from the collision of the Iberian and Eurasian tectonic plates. And don’t stop there. I appreciate the immense cut that the river Alcanadre made by entering the rock with the iron. Erosion creates an unevenness that reaches a thousand meters between the peaks and the bottom of the valley. It is not at all a bad thing to be what some relegate to the level of excellence.
The outer borders of the great Pyrenees deserve – in fact, brothers – the mark of elder brothers. The offspring of the same processes, generated in the same and immense geological effort of the planet. Some will succumb under the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, others will shake hands with the Somontani from the plains of Osca or Aquitaine. Without the appearance of three thousand meters (nor the dirty harassment of the passenger cylinder), they represent another face as authentic as that geological gem that is the Pyrenees. A man from the south of France, overwhelmed by the term ‘Pre-Pyrenees’, told me that of course to him it was ‘Pos-Pyrenees’. Simple shine. And it happens that sometimes an understanding of how others see us allows us to know ourselves better. But this is another story…
Ánchel Belmonte Ribas Sobrarbe-Pyrenees UNESCO World Geopark
– Go to the third millennium supplement
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