La femme du Puy de Dôme

We lolled around in bed all morning, when we had intended to be on the road by 9 at the latest. We were up dancing until 4am, so I suppose it's understandable. There was also the fact that il a fait un temps pourri, so we were very comfortable in the warmth and dryness of Claude's apartment. Finally we got our rears in gear and headed off for the village of Tournemire.

Tournemire is labelled as one of the most beautiful villages in France and it is easy to see why, with the stone houses and their slate roofs - all very old-fashioned and homey. There is also the chateau d'Anjony, one of Andrés' favorites, and an excellent view of the valley. We scrambled up and down the mountains and in and out of caves, and listened to the gobbling of far-off turkeys.

After Anjony, we went to Salers, home of yet another Auvergnat cheese. The town is preserved as part of the patrimoine de la France, so all of the electrical wires are buried, giving it a more ancient feel (if they're burying electrical wires, I wondered, why don't they bury the cars as well and go for a really ancient feel). We stopped in a restaurant and tore ravenously at sandwiches and tea and coffee, as we were all starving and freezing and wet by the time we got there.

There were many more lovely views and the town of Salers was beautiful and picturesque, so our little American cameras went click-click-click, much to the dismay of Stefan, who does not understand the attitude of the New World in reaction to the Old World. We don't have anything like this in the US and we are far enough away that we might never see it again, so we feel the need to record it. We can't all live next to the French/German border and wander around France whenever we like.

After Salers, we split off from Claude and headed home, playing Twenty Questions and searching for a gas station open on a Sunday evening. The poor Orange Van, already weak when climbing hills and burdened with six passengers, was getting low, and Stefan was getting desperate, but every station we passed was closed. Finally, as we neared Clermont-Ferrand and the needle had been in the red for a good moment, a gas station was spotted and the Orange Van was able to get her well-needed drink before finishing off the journey.

srah - Monday, 16 December 2002 - 3:51 AM
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