Travel in France, The Millevaches Plateau

The day dawned grey, overcast, chilly, and with rain in the air. Coffee and croissant in bed and another Elliot Pattison book, Water Touching Stone, and then a late morning start with a visit to Meymac and a drive around the Millevaches Plateau. How I wished I had packed a fleece jacket and winter trousers! Continue reading

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Travel in France – Tulle

Travel in France, Day 6, started in a leisurely way with coffee and bread in bed, and the end of The Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison – riveting – and the first of several of his books for the holiday. It had rained and more rain was in the air and so walking was postponed and we went to Tulle instead. Continue reading

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Travel in France – a drive around Correze

The morning walk had been quite modest, it was a beautiful day, and so we set off to explore the Plateau de Millevaches. I expected to see lots of cows – well, my French is pretty basic – but other translations suggest an empty area, or an area of many springs. After a week I can testify that any or all of those possibilities are true! Continue reading

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Travel in France – A short walk around Correze

I enjoy walking and there was a lot of walking planned for the next few weeks! Day 5 of ‘Travel in France’, Sunday, was an idyllic day, starting with good coffee and excellent croissant enjoyed in bed with a book until 11.00am. This was clearly slothful and so we set off for a walk in the woods and paths around Corrèze. The map is no.2233, Carte de Randonnée, 1:25,000. A leaflet describing the walk, Le sentier du meunieris available at the very helpful Tourist Information Office in the town. Continue reading

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Travel in France, Notre Dame d’Orcival

Notre Dame d’Orcival is a Romanesque church in a tiny village, deep in a valley in the Auvergne.

The Church of Notre Dame d'Orcival

The Church of Notre Dame d’Orcival

The church was built in the 12C

Notre Dame d'Orcival, Grundriss (Wikimedia)

Notre Dame d’Orcival, Grundriss (Wikimedia)

Notre Dame d'Orcival

Notre Dame d’Orcival

Notre Dame d'Orcival

Notre Dame d’Orcival

Notre Dame d'Orcival

Notre Dame d'Orcival

Notre Dame d'Orcival

You may be interested in
Images of Notre Dame d’Orcival
Edith Wharton: A Motor-Flight through France
A walk around Orcival
The Church as a place of pilgrimage

 

 

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Travel in France, Clermont-Ferrand to Correze

On the road again! Day 4 in France was travelling from Clermont-Ferrand, through part of the Auvergne to see the church at Orcival, and then on to Corrèze.

There was a last look at Clermont-Ferrand from the heights above the town, but with heavy clouds all round it was time to move on.

Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont-Ferrand

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The Church of Notre Dame d’Orcival is a Romanesque Church. It may have been on one of the many Pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostelo, but I am not sure.

The Church of Notre Dame, Orcival

The Church of Notre Dame d’Orcival

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Orcival

After a cup of coffee (and a hug hunk of Cantal cheese from this very good stall opposite the church) we set off into the heart of the Auvergne.

The Auvergne hills

The Auvergne hills

The Col du Guery has two huge rock outcrops, explosions of lava from the side of an extinct volcano, and this site has an amazing aerial photograph showing the relationship of the rocks, lake (the highest in the Auvergne), and valley below.

Col du Guery

Col du Guery

Lac du Guery

Lac du Guery

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The next stop was more of a ‘break’ in Bort les OrguesWe had a short while to enjoy some sunshine, and the flowers, but soon had to stop and wait for the rain to pass over.

The auvergne

 

The sun reappeared; we used the motorway to get to Egletons, a town with a significant past and where, according to Bradshaw there was a market for corn – we only wanted to use the SuperU! We turned off the main road at Gare de Corrèze, a stop on the line to Tulle, and on Bradshaw’s Route 50 – so I maintain contact. The end of the day brought us to the gîte in the hamlet of Cayre, just outside the town of Corrèzes.

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You may be interested in
The volcanoes of the Auvergne
Popular article on visiting the Auvergne
The Auvergne
Via Lucis – exploration of Romanesque Churches in France
Notre Dame d’Orcival, a brief history
Pilgrim Routes
Or something more technical

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Travel in France, Notre Dame du Port

I think this is the most beautiful building I have ever seen – I could be here every day.

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Travel in France, Clermont-Ferrand’s Black Cathedral

The Black Cathedral in the plain of Clermont Ferrand

The Black Cathedral in the plain of Clermont Ferrand

The Black Cathedral in the plain of Clermont Ferrand

The Black Cathedral, Clermont Ferrand

The first cathedral was built on the site around 450AD. There was a second cathedral in 946 and the First Crusade was preached in this building. The current Cathedral of Notre Dame de l’Assomption was started in 1246. The building is created out of black lava stone (Clermont Ferrand is situated just below the volcanoes of the Auvergne) and the tall towers and its position on top of a hill allow the building to be visible from a great distance.

Notre Dame de l'Assomption

Notre Dame de l’Assomption, the west door & facade

Floorplan of the cathedral

Floorplan of the cathedral

Inside the building soars upwards, but I really didn’t do it credit, either with the photographs nor in time. There are frescoes, but my photographs are poor. In truth, my heart was captured by Notre Dame du Port (post to follow).

The interior of the cathedral in Clermont Ferrand

The interior of the cathedral in Clermont Ferrand

The interior of the cathedral in Clermont Ferrand

The interior of the cathedral in Clermont Ferrand

The interior of the cathedral in Clermont Ferrand

The interior of the cathedral in Clermont Ferrand

The interior of the cathedral in Clermont Ferrand

Gargoyle on the cathedral of Clermont Ferrand

On the roof of the Cathedral

On the roof of the Cathedral

 

You may be interested in
Abelard – Interesting series with photographs and comments
Vidimus – An online magazine devoted to stained glass
The Mediaeval Stained Glass Achive - incredible resource
Historical information about the churches in Clermont Ferrand
The Volcanic Park of the Auvergne

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Travel in France, Bourges to Clermont Ferrand

We need to get on the road! Day 3 of Travel in France was the journey from Bourges to Clermont Ferrand, via Apremont-sur-Allier – an incredible day!

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Travel in France, Apremont-sur-Allier, Parc Floral continued

I loved every minute of the few hours I spent in the Parc Floral, Apremont-sur-Allier, and want to continue the enjoyment.

Parc Floral looking towards the Allier River

Parc Floral looking towards the Allier River

The Castle dates from the 12C and originally had twelve towers, of which five remain.

The Parc Floral, looking towards the castle

The Parc Floral, looking towards the castle

The Belvedere.

The Belvedere

The Belvedere

The Turkish Pavilion (and the Chinese Bridge) were also designed by Alexander Serebriakoff.

The Turkish Pavilion

The Turkish Pavilion

The Chinese Bridge.

The Chinese Bridge

The Chinese Bridge

The lakes.

One of the lakes in the Parc Floral

One of the lakes in the Parc Floral

One of the lakes in the Parc Floral

One of the lakes in the Parc Floral

One of the houses in the Parc.

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The Parc was created out of fields and a disused quarry – Apremont was a mining village. The fields now add to the magical quality of the views.

And one final view of the gardens…

Parc Floral, Apremont-sur-Allier

 

You may be interested in
Loire Valley gardens
Information about the Serebriakoff Family
One visitor’s views

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