Above the mountain ridge, beyond the border was the promised land, a neutral area of ​​Spain that loomed as an escape, a second chance, a future.

Behind them was Nazi-occupied France and certain imprisonment or death. During World War II, a dangerous route through the Pyrenees Mountains was the way to escape Nazi persecution for hundreds of thousands of resistance fighters, civilians, Jews, allies and soldiers.
For many the ascent of the mountain through boulders and glaciers was the final leg of a long and perilous journey to wartime Europe, hiding from the German army, the Gestapo secret police and the paramilitary forces of the SS.

On the route starting in France's Ariege Pyrenees, the footsteps of 87 people who climbed the mountains from France to Spain to honor their relatives who made the exact same route to escape the Nazis were re-echoed. Descendants of those who were rescued were included among the people who participated in the climb.

The "Freedom Trail", the final ascent of which is via a difficult route, is an annual "walking monument", as the Englishman Paul Williams, a mountain guide and keeper of local history, puts it.

*Data from cnn.com, 17.7.2023 & cnn.gr, 18.7.2023