The snow-covered mountains, which form a formidable physical barrier between France to the north (left) and Spain to the south (right), are the main focus of this low-oblique, southeast-looking photograph.
Scarcely interrupted by accessible passes and pierced in only two places by railroad tunnels, the Pyrenees are an ideal natural boundary between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe.
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The southern flank of the Pyrenees (Spain) is characterized by aridity and very rugged, mountainous conditions.
Human settlement is sparse throughout the Pyrenees.
The northern flank of the Pyrenees is characterized by a series of large alluvial deposits that fan out across southwestern France.
The darker, roughly triangular area in southwest France is part of the forested Aquitaine Basin.