Tuesday, 21 December 2010

J'aime le Massif Central

I've not been getting out much lately, so I've taken to dreaming instead. And then yesterday I fell in love. I've been learning French and I came across the stunning region of the Massif Central. One of the poorest and less visited areas of France it was described by a 19th century author as...

One of the loveliest spots on earth . . . a country without roads, without guides, without any facilities for locomotion, where every discovery must be conquered at the price of danger or fatigue . . . a soil cut up with deep ravines, crossed in every way by lofty walls of lava, and furrowed by numerous torrents.

The Volcanoes of the Auvergne National Park is a landscape of 80 extinct volcanoes, known as Puys, stretching from the grassy domes and craters of the Monts-Dômes to the eroded skylines of the Monts-Dore.

Someone on a forum asked if they could fill a week here. I think I could fill a lifetime. An abundance of peaks to climb, lakes to sail on and rivers to canoe down I feel relaxed and carefree just thinking of it.

“Outstanding scenery with craggy moonscapes and rushing streams, incredibly fresh air, isolated villages where time does seem to have stopped, wonderful food...completely different from the regions of France that most people head to”. This visitor's description has sold me on this place and I hope I'll be heading there sometime soon. J'aimerais pouvoir dire que j'ai été ici.

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