Lazy Rivers and Unspoilt Villages / Volcanoes of the Auvergne

It has been awhile since our last post, so our apologies for being so tardy; however, we are on holiday and it feels as though we have been living out of a suitcase forever… I know it’s hard to feel sympathetic…

Albi Thunderstorm

Albi Cathedral

Anyway, after leaving the Midi Pyrenees, we ventured inland following the rivers and rolling hills of the Tarn and Lot areas of France. We initially stayed in Albi, which was home to Toulouse Lautrec, a French painter of the late 1800s. We didn’t visit the gallery, but the town was quite picturesque and just happens to have the world’s largest brick cathedral, which we did venture into. From there we followed the back roads through to one of France’s most beautiful villages St-Cirq-Lapopie. We stayed just opposite this hillside town for a couple of nights and it was here that we actually saw some sun and went for a bike ride…and for those who aren’t Facebook friends with Tony…managed to get lost (or ‘Perdue’ as the French farmer said to us as we asked for directions!).

Gouffre de Padriac

It all ended well thankfully and we continued on to our next stop of Theil, just outside of Salers in the Auvergne District. On the way we stopped off at two popular tourist spots, one of which was another amazing village on the side of a cliff, another sacred pilgrimage site with a beautiful church and a rare statue of a ‘noir’ or ‘black’ Notre Dame (Our Lady). The other site was a bit more adventurous – the Gouffre de Padirac crater is a 103m hole in the ground that encompasses a subterranean lake and river. It was simply incredible to see and the photos we took, don’t really do it justice…a must see if you ever come to this part of France.

Our Lady

In the Auvergne there are supposedly over 100 volcanoes, unfortunately, these were a bit hard to see as our time here was spent walking in the rain and mist and wrapping up warmly to keep out the cold…Boy did it remind us of home! Not surprising really that Tony decided that maybe we should head south and all of a sudden he was booking flights and I was checking our hotels and riads in Morocco.

Beautiful Valley

It was A Bientôt France and Bonjour Marrakech.