You can’t talk about the deep heart of France without mentioning its volcanoes. They’ve made frequent appearances in this blog, in stories about Blaise Pascal’s groundbreaking experiments on barometric pressure done at the top of the Puy de Dome, the grinding challenge of the mountain stages of the Tour de France, or the medieval lava quarries at Volvic that gave so many landmark buildings in this region their characteristic gray-black color. The volcanoes dominate the skyline behind the Auvergne’s largest cities, and even though they are all dormant (for now) their superheated internal plumbing feeds the hot springs that have brought tourists here since the first humans inhabited the area.
Saint Flour is a “Town for All Centuries” in the deep heart of France
Cet article est dédié à Marie-Thérèse, Sanfloraine exceptionnelle et le professeur qui m’a appris à parler français et à profiter au maximum de notre expatriation en France. There are several towns in central France that are famous mostly for “being medieval”. Many of them are immaculately restored; they give you an idea of how they must have looked in the 13th or 14th centuries. (Think of the incredible ensemble of medieval architecture in Sarlat-la-Caneda or the settings right out of The Three Musketeers in the “most beautiful village” of Pérouges.) They exist now primarily as tourist attractions where the curious traveler can have a window into life as it might have been in the distant past. And on first […]
8 Cool Things to Do in Auvergne This Summer
First — a quick “thanks” to all of you who helped celebrate the first anniversary of the blog last week. (If you missed it, please check out this recap of the best central France from 2016 and 2017.)This week, we look forward to the summer months ahead — the months that bring out all the best elements in the deep heart of France. Whether you’re interested in the rich medieval history of the region, a brisk hike through the natural wonders of the Parc des Volcans, or dancing in the streets with your neighbors, there’s plenty to attract you to the country’s center. Here are 8 especially cool things to do in the Auvergne this summer: Take a ride to […]