The route through the mountain chain of les Pyrénées is known as the way of Napoleón because the great general favored this arduous climb in and out of Spain during the Peninsular War (1807-1814). Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago favored it as a way to avoid bandits.
It is reported that many pilgrims fell to their knees when they saw Spain (and the land of Saint James) for the very first time. I guessing they were also thankful because after 3,200 feet of steep climbing the road goes downhill from here.
Join Mark and Vicki for a Mediterranean experience in October, 2018. We'll be cruising aboard the luxurious Celebrity Reflection. See the link here for details. Onboard lectures will provide focus as we visit the ports of Malta, Rhodes, Santorini, and Athens among others. An optional add-on visit to Rome is possible on either end of the trip.